I always believe that the press can work wonders and get things done. Some time ago I had a letter published in Stabroek News about the conditions of the wheelchairs which the sick and disabled had to use at Suddie Hospital. These chairs had no foot rests and were a risk to life and limb.
Fortunately, that letter did create an impact. Yesterday morning after a long time, I had the opportunity to visit the Suddie Hospital, and the first thing that caught my eye as I entered the compound with my car was a fleet of new wheelchairs looking presentable.
The porters came up to me and said, “Keep on writing Mr Khan, your words have weight”. On every one of my visits to this hospital, I would take pictures of these unsafe wheelchairs and post them on Facebook, which perhaps embarrassed the Ministry of Health and prompted it to buy these new chairs.
I always castigated the management and the administrator for the way patients were treated when they went there for treatment. I saw a big difference yesterday morning, as I sat in the waiting room. The nurses and doctors were kind and courteous to patients, and they were treated promptly with respect.
This is the change I want to see in every government ministry; this is the kind of change we voted for. It is my fervent wish that it continue like this forever; this would give the people a great sense of satisfaction and hope for the future.
I think much more emphasis should be placed on health in this region. A lot of things are lacking here; basic amenities are in short supply, and most times people with serious injuries and illnesses have to be transferred to Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation because the expertise and equipment does not exist in our region. Everything is centralized in Georgetown.
The other hospitals in the country are facing the same problems, particularly those in the hinterland. Serious cases in Lethem are treated in Brazil because it has the technology.
Government should think in terms of building two more hospitals in the region, one at Supenaam and one at Anna Regina. If you look at the distance between Suddie and Charity where the two hospitals are located, the distance is too great for an emergency case; the patient would die before they get there, especially those who are living in Tapakuma, Mainstay Lake and Lima Sands. This country is also in need of a super specialty hospital.
I had the opportunity to go for corrective surgery in one in Mumbai, and I can tell you that the medical treatment is superior to any hospital in Guyana. It is also cheap when you compare it to some of the private hospitals we have here.
The medical technology in the Mumbai hospital is of high standard, the meals are excellent, the doctors are all UK and USA trained, the deluxe rooms are the best with air conditioners, there are hot and cold baths, suites, refrigerators, TV sets, wardrobes, telephone and internet services 24/7.
The nurses and doctors work around the clock; there was a pick-up from the airport; an ATM; a pharmacy; and a tour guide to any part of India with transportation. Guyana could have medical tourism by having a super specialty hospital somewhere in Georgetown. We are living in the 21st century and the government should think big for the future generation.