US$100M diagnostic centres for hinterland communities – VP Jagdeo announces

Amerindians will soon benefit from over US $100 million in improved healthcare through the establishment of diagnostic centres. This was disclosed by Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, who reassured Amerindian leaders on Monday, that the development of their communities remains a priority for the PPP/C Government.

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the NTC Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre

Addressing the National Toshaos Conference (NTC) after a two-year hiatus, the Vice President said the centres will be established from money earned from Guyana’s oil revenue.

“In each of the four hinterland regions; Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine we will now build a massive diagnostic centre with all the world-class capability to do telemedicine in each of these areas so that you can access some of the best care in every region,” the Vice President stated.

We anticipate those massive diagnostic centers will cost over US$100M in these areas, over GUY $20 billion, that is part of the plan on health care from training people etc,” he said.

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the NTC Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre

Like healthcare, hinterland residents will also have access to the best educational opportunities, Dr. Jagdeo stated. Internet accessibility will play a key role in government fulfilling that commitment, he stated, as he alluded to the Guyana Academy of Learning (GOAL) programme.

It was pointed out that US $17 million was available to the last administration to address the issue, however, it only used about US $5 million to purchase computers which are now useless. Some of the internet hubs they sought to establish are incomplete and the internet service is poor compared to what is available on the coast, the Vice President highlighted.

Nevertheless, Vice President made it clear that the government is working to fix the issue.

“We are going to have to find a way even if it’s on a smaller basis moving the ICT programme and internet connectivity in these areas so that children could also benefit from the online scholarship programme.”

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the NTC Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre

Further, Amerindian leaders were assured that they will directly benefit from funds earned from the preservation of Guyana’s forest through the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). He said as in the past, government will use a percentage of the money to develop their communities.

“We want 15 per cent of all that is earned to go directly to indigenous communities.  This is outside of the money you get for anything else. The 15 per cent we will have to decide how it is allocated, that it should be shared among all the villages whether they have forest or not.”

The Vice President revealed that leaders could expect an increase in their presidential grants, access to potable water by 2025 in all communities, access to electricity through solar energy, and titles to their lands.

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the NTC Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre

Food security and the creation of jobs in hinterland communities, the Vice President added, are also priorities for the government, which has already made significant investments in those areas.

“We are going to ensure that the rights of indigenous people that we fought to put in place, that were not always there through the law, the Constitution, the Amerindian Act, through the establishment of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, through the establishment of the National Toashao Council, all were done under the PPP, we will fight to preserve and grow the rights,” Dr Jagdeo assured the leaders.

“We take our promises seriously. If there is anything that you know or you need to learn about the People’s Progressive Party, we take the promises that we made to you when we travel around the country seriously,” the Vice President stated. The NTC which runs for five days is being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre under the theme ‘Good Governance and fast-tracking Amerindian Development.’

COVID-19 Notice: Due to the pandemic some consular services will be conducted by registered mail until further notice. Learn more