€149M pediatric, maternal hospital for ECD corridor

Government’s zeal for Guyana to become a first-choice health care destination is evident, as work will begin soon to construct a specialised Pediatric and Maternal Hospital, along the East Coast Demerara (ECD) corridor.

The future low-rise facility will cost some €149 million and is set to be constructed at plots 7 and 8 Plantation Goedverwagting, ECD. The modern hospital will have 256 beds and will cover some 24,000 square meters gross floor area.

Sod turned for € $149 million Pediatric, Maternal hospital at Goedverwagting, ECD

Accordingly, the level five referral centre will be open for maternal mothers and babies from the various regions seeking medical aid that is not available at their respective districts.

The move to establish the state-of-the-art hospital stemmed from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the country of Austria.

The pediatric and maternal hospital was later added to the MoU in July 2021, while the contract for the project was inked in June this year.

At the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali stressed that bilateral relation is very critical for the development for any country.

Emphasising that women and children are critical component of the development of his country, the president did not hesitate to affirm that the standard Guyana is adopting, will position the hospital to be a “traffic driver” for services in the region and further afield.

“So, it is building out a model healthcare model that is focusing not only locally, but focusing on the region… on the diaspora. We want to bring together all the private stakeholders in dental work…. We’re working now in terms of building out a system that will support all of this infrastructure and system that will be strongly integrated,” the president stated.

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali addressing the gathering at the sod turning ceremony for the € $149 million Pediatric, Maternal hospital at Goedverwagting, ECD

Dr. Ali said the aim is to put Guyana at the cutting edge of health delivery and education, as well as every other important tier of the sector.

Additionally, he noted that the project will be done in accordance with the FIDIC Yellow Book standard. The international manual guides any project to achieve greater reciprocity between the employer and contractor and to incorporate international best practice, among other things.

Accordingly, much of the high-end equipment that will be used to outfit the hospital will be coming from the United Kingdom (UK).

This is also Guyana’s first UK Export Finance (UKEF) project, the president disclosed. The mechanism enables countries to get access to quality finance at a good interest rate.

Meanwhile, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, said the turning of the sod signifies another era of public health investment in Guyana.

He added too that the milestone clearly demonstrates President Ali’s vision of building a world class health facility here is more than talks.

“At the times when countries are affected by COVID and many economies are done, we are making these bold investments in our country for our people to make sure that they can get the best health care,” Minister Anthony relayed.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

Although government made significant investment in the Georgetown Public Hospital since it assumed office, Minister Anthony disclosed that there are a number of services that the hospital cannot provide at a maximum level, especially in pediatric care.

“One of the things that we thought that was very important is that we need to develop we need to develop a facility that is going to be level five, that’s the highest level and offer such specialty care to our children if they need it. Also, we know from time to time they will be at risk mothers, and therefore we also need to cater for these at-risk mothers.”

With that concept in mind, government held protracted engagements with stakeholders to build the facility that meets international standards, allowing the use of higher medical technology here.

The health minister noted that while the hospital will have inpatient and outpatient clinic like any other hospital, the quality of services offered will be vastly different, with advanced clinics and diagnosis tools.

“The whole purpose of what we are doing this is to offer services that was never offered in the country… but while we are expanding the services, out primary goal is to make sure that we reduce morbidity, meaning that we will have less diseases in the country and we will be able to treat the properly.”

And by doing that we will reduce people dying from these diseases. And that’s the ultimate objective. So, the investments that we’re making here is rarely people centric investments to make sure out people benefit from the highest quality of health care,” Dr. Anthony stated.

The construction of the new ultra-modern health institution will be facilitated by Austrian company VAMED and is expected to open in the next two years.

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