By Jeff Trotman
Chairman of the Board of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) Mortimer Mingo and Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the Peoples Republic of China Li Bin, unveiled a plaque on Sunday to symbolically mark the opening of a Laparoscopic Surgery Centre at the LHC.
During the inauguration ceremony, the acting CEO of the LHC Steve Mark disclosed that five successful laparoscopic surgeries have been performed before the opening of the centre with the last two such surgeries performed on Friday.
He said the opening of the Laparoscopic Centre was a proud moment for the Linden Hospital Complex, which over the past few years has been constantly working to upgrade its services. Stating that laparoscopy is a highly specialised process that requires a lot of training, Mark pointed out that the centre already has trained personnel.
He said that the Laparoscopic Centre is equipped with the necessary tools, nurses, doctors, ancillary staff and equipment to perform the relevant surgeries as he explained that laparoscopic surgery is a specialised surgical intervention in which a surgeon using a key hole – minimal invasion – is able to visualise and operate inside the abdomen and pelvic area, using specialised cameras, tools and conduits to perform surgery.
Mark pointed out some of the benefits of laparoscopic surgery over conventional surgery, short hospitalisation, “less bleeding, less invasive, faster recovery, less scars – just a tiny insertion and you can perform major surgery – and it can be used for diagnostic purposes.”
Reiterating that laparoscopic surgery is a very skilled procedure, Mark said: “We are very thankful to the Peoples Republic of China [for] making the Laparoscopic Centre fully functional and we will continue to strive to provide more care, more services in the future.”
Mingo, in his welcoming remarks stated that the relationship between the LHC and the people of China began over 20 years ago when the first Chinese medical team was stationed in Linden.
He said that over the years, the various contingents of Chinese medical practitioners have not only contributed positively to the improvement of medical care in Region Ten “but also imparted their invaluable knowledge to members of the medical staff of the Linden Hospital Complex.”
Mingo also expressed the hope that the official launch of the Laparoscopic Surgery Centre will serve to foster closer cooperation between the people of China, Linden and Region Ten as well as the Linden Hospital Complex.
Meanwhile, Marks explained that the idea of performing laparoscopic surgery at the LHC was raised about two years ago by the Overseas Medical Mission team in collaboration with the Linden Fund USA, the Ministry of Health, a team from the Chinese medical brigade and the Chinese Government.
Highlighting that the LHC has been moving to expand and improve on the quality and range of services to its clients, Mark said: “Last year, for the first time, we opened our neonatal intensive care unit and here we are today, offering a new service to our clients – our Laparoscopic Centre.”
Brief addresses were also made by Chief Medical Officer Dr Shamdeo Persaud and the Chinese Health Minister, who both pointed to the important role being played by the Chinese medical teams to health care in Guyana.
The Chinese Health Minister said it is not easy for one country or one person to provide a good thing for another over many years, “(but) the Chinese Government sees the Guyanese Government and people as our brothers and sisters so that we are able to provide sincere aid and help to the Guyana people. ”Minister Li Bin also expressed pleasure at joining Chinese Ambassador Zhang Limin and the rest of the Chinese team in participating in the inauguration ceremony. She said the exercise marked an advance in technology by the LHC in delivering medical care. She said it also marked the tradition of friendship that exists between the Chinese people and the Guyanese people. She said since China and Guyana established diplomatic relations, the two countries have developed cooperation in many areas, including medicine. To date, 11 batches of medical teams have come to Guyana, amounting to 124 medical workers. “For many years the China medical teams have devoted themselves to provide good services to the local people and patients – and their expertise and their high level of friendship have been highly appreciated by the local people and government.”
Highlighting that specialists were sent from China to support the establishment of the centre, the Chinese Health Minister said the new centre could be a new starting point for cooperation between China and the Linden Hospital.
Sierra Morris, the reigning Charles Roza Nursing School Pageant Queen presented the Chinese Minister with a bouquet and the visitors along with the CMO were taken on a guided tour of the LHC maternity ward and neonatal clinic before the inauguration ceremony. Following the unveiling of the plaque, the tour party visited laparoscopic surgery patients.