Despite continuous efforts by Region Two to secure an adequate supply of drugs for hospitals, health centres and health posts on the Essequibo Coast, the region continues to suffer from the unavailability of approximately 90% of common drugs.
This is according to Arnold Adams, Chairman of the Health and Sanitation Committee and Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Two.
Adams expressed this concern at the statutory meeting of the RDC held on Tuesday in the boardroom of the RDC.
“Suddie Hospital does not have about 90% of drugs. They stopped outreaches to the health centres in the various Amerindian communities, and even on the coastlines because of the drug shortage. Suddie Hospital is the mother of the various health centres, and if the mother does not have the drugs then the children won’t be able to access them either. We continue to call on Central Government to pay more interest to Region Two in terms of having access to drugs.”
Adams noted that at last Tuesday’s Health and Sanitation Standing Committee meeting, it was reported that salines, injections, common drugs and even materials such as gloves are at a low.
Adams expressed that Region Two has being experiencing the drugs shortage for the past several months.
“Persons continue to call on a regular basis asking the reason why these things are not available. We continue to stress and call on Central Government to pay more interest in Region Two to ensure that we have adequate drugs on a monthly basis. Another thing is that we in-transit a lot of patients out of Region Two, and when it is done, it creates an expense toll on the Region and relatives’ pockets. Despite the patients will go with the ambulance, relatives have to travel separately to see the patient, or probably to pay a hotel so they will be close by to carry things for the sick persons.”
The Regional Hospital, Suddie Public Hospital is tasked with providing drugs and medical services which are not offered at the Oscar Joseph District Hospital, health centres and health posts. The Oscar Joseph District Hospital provides health care needs to persons living in Region One, Upper and Lower Pomeroon River, and some villages along the Essequibo Coast. As the Suddie Public Hospital is experiencing drug shortages, it is difficult for the Oscar Joseph District Hospital to access drugs to provide for its patients since it is heavily dependent on the Suddie Public Hospital. Persons living in the Pomeroon River are oft times sent away without adequate treatment, and they are told that they would need to buy their drugs at pharmacies.
Adams noted that as a result of two nonfunctional biochemistry machines at the Suddie Hospital, persons living in the region are forced to have their tests done at a private institution which incurs additional expenses. The biochemistry machines can perform approximately 30 to 40 blood tests within an hour.
“The machines at Suddie have been down for too long. The machines cannot be repaired, so we are now asking for two new machines so that persons can avoid going to the private hospitals to do these tests, while if we get two new machines, these services can be accessed from the Suddie Public Hospital and it will reduce the toll of cost on the residents’ pockets. Again we are pleading with the Central Government to look into the plight,” the Region Two Officer implored.