Guyana signs MoU with Austria for improved health care

-upgrade of GPHC A&E under consideration

Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence (left) and Dr. Gernot Grimm signing the MoU (DPI photo)

The Government of Guyana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Austria’s Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology for enhancement of health facilities and the Accident and Emergency Unit of the GPHC could be the first beneficiary.

At the official signing yesterday morning, Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence said the MoU is the beginning of a process. She said that concrete projects may begin in 2019, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).

“We are looking at the GPHC since it is our tertiary institution. You will be aware that particularly our A and E (Accident and Emergency) department is really under the threshold, in terms of a standard operating procedure that should pertain in a critical care unit. So, the first two aspects we will be getting involved with is a trauma centre and a critical care centre which will be able to take off the deficiencies which we do have presently. This will ensure improved delivery of care for our patients and also upgraded equipment for the staff works,” the Minister said.

Some of the technical experts who will work on the resulting projects (DPI photo)

Dr. Gernot Grimm of the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology said the signing of the MoU is in keeping with the good relations enjoyed by the two nations for decades. He added that the results of the MOU would be seen in the tangible achievements sooner rather than later. 

“We have brought along a couple of technical experts from Austria to have this work done as soon as possible to our bilateral negotiations, so we really want to show and speed up the whole process to be in a position to start as soon as possible,” Grimm  said.

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr Karen Cummings among other stakeholders.

Meanwhile, VAMED Engineering Company of Austria has pledged to support the modernizing of the Public Health and other sectors, DPI said in a separate press release.

It said that the VAMED team is in Guyana currently in discussions with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Health to target the health sector. This “Lighthouse” project as it is being called, seeks to venture further into infrastructure development and technology.

A cocktail reception was held for the VAMED team to welcome them. In attendance were Greenidge and Public Health Ministers, Lawrence and  Cummings among others.

 “The health sector is not the only the only (area) we are ready to co-operate with you but it’s the first one and I call it the lighthouse project to show the public in Guyana and in Austria that a co-operation can exceed political excellent relations by … well-functioning economic ties and relations”, Grimm said at the reception.

Grimm said that Austria is very well known for its state-of-the-art health technology and a well-managed and modernised health sector.

VAMED, according to its website, is a global provider for hospitals and other facilities in the healthcare sector. It caters for project development, planning and turnkey construction via maintenance, technical, commercial and infrastructure services to the total facility management of healthcare facilities.

The website says that VAMED covers all areas of healthcare, from prevention and wellness to acute care, rehabilitation and nursing.

Greenidge said that Guyana has long benefitted from initiatives introduced by the Austrian government.

Taking note that VAMED has completed more than 800 projects in 75 countries, the Foreign Affairs Minister welcomed the engineering company’s input in several strategic areas.

“We had the opportunity to have some of these highlighted in the accreditation of ambassador Marianne Feldmann not so long ago and in those exchanges, there was also mention of the potential in the areas of clean energy, intensified bi-lateral co-operation, economic co-operation as well as greater collaboration in the field of trade”, he said, according to DPI



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