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US health team to perform “complex surgeries”, train Guyanese

Members of the George Washington University Hospital medical team on arrival at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. Third from right, on lower level, is Urologist Dr. Joseph Benjamin, a Guyanese at birth who has returned for the first time since his initial migration to the USA as a boy.

A 21-member team of medical specialists from the United States-based George Washington University Hospital is in Guyana for an outreach that will include complex surgeries and training, according to the Ministry of Health.

The team will conduct continuing screening as the number of patients to be treated is expected to expand. The ministry said the team brought its own medical supplies and surgical instruments. At least 20 surgeries of the most complicated cases in urology, and approximately 40 general surgeries have already been scheduled.

The team arrived, which arrived here on October 19 for seven days, includes consists of Urologists, Anaesthesiologists, General Surgeons and Nurses.

Among them is Urologist Dr. Joseph Benjamin, a doctor of Guyanese birth who left Guyana as a child has now returned for the first time since his initial departure.

While here, they will conduct complex surgeries in their respective specialisations at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH).

The Health Ministry said the team would conduct several certified medical and nursing lectures accredited by the Guyana Medical Council. “These lecture sessions aim to share new concepts and best practices within the respective professions,” said the ministry in a statement.

The medical team is also accompanied by a video production crew consisting of two photographers and a producer who have been working on productions about the Guyana health sector prior to, and during, the surgical team’s visit. |

The team is financing its airfare while the Ministry of Health is providing all in- country funding for housing, ground transportation and meals.

The visit by the George Washington University Hospital health professionals dates back to September 2012 when Health Minister, Dr. Bheri Ramsarran issued an invitation while participating in the 28th Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Regional Sanitary Conference.

The George Washington Hospital team visited in January to conduct a preliminary assessment of Guyana’s health facilities in preparation for this week’s visit.

Ramsarran’s invitation, according to the Health Ministry, came as part of the Health Ministry’s ongoing initiative to forge new strategic partnerships with the international community to boost Guyana’s health services.
Under the Minister’s stewardship similar outreaches have been done with Calgary University among others.