GT&T has handed over a cheque for $1 million to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for the enhancement of the environment in front of the hospital’s main entrances on New Market Street.
GPHC CEO Michael Khan received the cheque from GT&T representatives in the compound of the GPHC yesterday morning.
The money will be used for landscaping, painting, and the placement of signs to indicate
“No Parking”, “No Stopping”, “Drop Off”, and “Keep Clear” zones. Signs will also be provided for “No Smoking” and silent zones.
GPHC has already reportedly used half a million dollars on painting and signage.
Consultant to GPHC Vic Insanally said he hopes these signs will alleviate the problems the hospital faces each day with vehicles in the area.
The donation received from GT&T will also enable the hiring of 11 taxi drivers to provide official transport from the hospital. According to the GPHC, these drivers have long-standing relationships with the hospital.
Insanally stated that though he loves Guyana, “it is the only place in the world where people park right up at the entrance [of a hospital].” Though GPHC provides parking for its staff and visitors in a parking lot located on East Street, many drivers still insist on parking in front of the hospital.
Earlier this week, works were underway for the painting of signs on the road. From this publication’s observations, the signs have so far been effective.
Insanally also pointed out several other problems the hospital has been experiencing in its environs. Among them are people smoking and urinating and garbage clogging the drains.
Insanally linked some of these issues with the vendors who frequent outside the hospital. Plans to relocate the vendors further up on the pavement are underway. Insanally insists that the GPHC does not wish to “take bread out of anybody’s mouth”. However, the vendors sometimes block the entrances to the hospital and therefore cause inconvenience. In cases of emergencies when ambulances need to enter the compound, the positions of the vendors can prove to be dangerous.
There have also been instances where vendors enter the hospital to sell their wares.
According to Insanally, the vendors had been removed from the entrances before. However, after complaints were lodged with the city engineer and the GPHC was subsequently threatened with prosecution, the vendors’ positions were given back.
GPHC is contemplating the development of a food court where vendors can apply to sell. However, protocols such as the necessity of a food handler’s licence will be enforced.
Insanally said though the battle between the GPHC and the vendors will be an ongoing one, he hoped for an early resolution.
Clement Vasconcellos, 46, vends in front of the GPHC. He told this publication that he has no problem with the planned relocation. He also said that if the GPHC goes back on its word to move the vendors to a more suitable location, there is really nothing the vendors can do about it.
GPHC has also, with the collaboration of the Police Traffic Department, made New Market Street inaccessible to buses. Insanally noted that overseas, if one honks his/her vehicle horn while passing a hospital, a ticket would be issued. He opines that the same laws need to be applied here in Guyana.
The GPHC hopes for continued aid from the Police Traffic Department and the Georgetown City Council after its new regulations have been instated.
After receiving the cheque, Khan thanked GT&T for its contribution and expressed the hope for continued support from the company.
A number of initiatives will be undertaken aimed at recognizing the invaluable commitment and service the hundreds of GPHC’s staff have given to the nation, a press release from GT&T said. These initiatives will include the possibility of discount prices for GT&T’s products and services, and the sponsoring of a monthly award scheme.
According to GT&T’s Marketing & Public Relations Director Roma Narayan-Singh, GT&T, through its donation, is simply doing its corporate duty.