The APNU+AFC coalition government is not serious about public health in Guyana. While the government continues to boast about high standards of health care, Guyanese continue to suffer because of poor quality of service.
The replacement of the subject minister within a few months in government is evidence of the mismanagement of this important sector, and moreso it exposed corruption where the rental of a bottom house bond for millions could be one of the main reasons for his transfer. There is also the drugs purchase without adhering to the procurement process costing millions. Corruption is the main reason why the health sector continues to deteriorate so rapidly. The continuous shortage of drugs and medical supplies is paralyzing the entire system while billions are being spent on them.
Numerous taxpayers are being burdened with paying taxes and in return when they go to the hospitals and health centres especially in Region Six, they are denied the services that are due to them. The National Ophthalmology Hospital has been neglected for the past three years. Despite numerous reminders from the Regional Democratic Council the Public Health Ministry is not ensuring that the hospital is equipped with the necessary drugs and medical supplies, to ensure that doctors can perform eye surgeries such as cataracts, etc.
We were told at the last statutory meeting of the Regional Democratic Council, Region Six, that the National Ophthalmology Hospital will open its doors in the next two weeks; this is good news for poor and working class people. Guyanese will be holding the Director of Health Services and the Public Health Minister responsible for ensuring that the hospital would be in operation within two weeks.
Before 2015 the Ophthalmology Hospital was doing many surgeries assisting people not only from Guyana but from other Caribbean countries. The government continues to disregard the poor who cannot afford these critical services, as such leaving them to the mercy of the private practitioners.
How can an entire Region with four hospitals and several health centres have one pharmacist? In addition to that, in the next four months the pharmacist is due for retirement, and to date the government has not employed a single replacement.
Persons are being employed with super salaries within the health sector, but the government does not see it as important to employ pharmacists.
Regional Health Committee