During a visit to Region Six on Saturday morning, Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence announced that the ministry is expected to “take over” GuySuCo’s health facilities.
Lawrence speaking to a gathering of health officials and media at the National Psychiatric Hospital at Fort Canje, Berbice, explained, that the ministry will be rolling out a new programme, come 2018. She noted that decisions will be made on how to better deal with patients, in terms of “whether we keep them in house or offsite”. She said, “We are going to be taking over all of the health facilities that are presently under the control of GuySuCo, in this Region and other regions.”
According to Lawrence, as a result of the takeover, services which are offered at the psychiatric hospital are among those that will then be offered at those facilities, “… so that it is closer to the neighbourhood, it is within the community’s reach and people don’t have to pay much transportation cost to get here”. Adding to that, she said patients can then be treated from an “out-patient bases, instead of institutionalizing them.”
GuySuCo’s estates all have their own dispensary, where workers attached to the estate along with their family members, benefit from free medical care.
This new “takeover” now suggests that the government has put some thought into the infrastructure which falls under GuySuCo. However, the workers who over the past week have received their redundancy letters stating that their services will no longer be needed come December 29, have voiced their frustration with this newspaper, calling on government to create jobs within the region for the thousands of workers who will be left jobless, so that they provide for their families.
Business owners in Region Six have also spoken out on behalf of the workers and themselves, explaining how the closure of the estates will drastically affect their businesses. Canje business owners have hinted at closing down since they do not believe that once the estate is closed, they will make enough profit to sustain their businesses.
Hire car drivers, market vendors and other persons have also spoken out, calling for ideas of employment from the government. Regional Chairman of Region Six David Armogan has also spoken against the closure of the estates within the region, stressing the negative impact it will have on the region’s economy.