Welcoming President David Granger’s commitment to improve conditions at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC), the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) today called for improvements at all state-run health institutions.
A statement from the GPSU follows:
The Guyana Public Service Union enthusiastically welcomes the undertaking given by His Excellency the President during his Christmas Day visit to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, accompanied by First Lady Sandra Granger, regarding improvements in working conditions for the staff of the facility, particularly the nurses. The Union is comforted by the fact that His Excellency clearly recognizes the particular challenges confronting the staff of the GPHC and specifically those facing our dedicated and long-suffering nurses. Indeed, we believe that His Excellency’s visit to the GPHC and his attendant undertaking will lift spirits amongst both the staff and patients of the Hospital.
While we particularly note His Excellency’s commitment to paying attention to enhancing the maternity services at the GPHC, we expect that within a reasonable time frame, official attention will be paid to other areas of service at the institution. Information reaching us, for example, suggests that the issue of professional and high-quality cleaning and sanitation may be an issue at the GPHC. We believe that the time is long overdue for our medical services to pay far more attention to the nexus between sanitation standards in our hospitals and effective patient care. That, we submit, requires highly specialized interventions which must be investigated and implemented in the shortest possible time.
What cannot be separated from any attempt to improve conditions at the GPHC is the emoluments of the staff of the institution, particularly our nurses. The GPSU continues to believe that our medical staff, including our nurses, continue to do their best in what, frequently, are particularly trying circumstances. Immediate attention to wages and salaries should, we believe, form part of His Excellency’s undertaking.
It is our wish too, that, in the shortest possible time, His Excellency’s undertaking be extended to state-run health institutions across the country. It is no secret that medical facilities elsewhere in coastal Guyana and in our hinterland regions leave much to be desired. Those Guyanese residing in and outside of the capital and its immediate environs are deserving of access to medical care that competes with the best in the capital.
The GPSU is mindful of the spartan conditions that obtain at the country’s only psychiatric institution situated at Fort Canje, Berbice, when measured against evidence of what would appear to be the mounting need for quality psychiatric care across the country. While we understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, the GPSU feels duty bound to publicly emphasise this need to official and public attention.