The new A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government is immediately looking at making the Bartica Hospital into a regional facility. This was disclosed by Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton, yesterday, during a visit to the hospital, according to the Government Information Agency (GINA). “We (are) not out here to criticise for the sake of criticism or to break down to build up, but we are here to build up what has been in existence,” Minister Norton explained, even as he gave recognition for what has already been accomplished at the hospital. “Kudos must be given for the appearance of the hospital in general. We can see that efforts were made in the line of hygiene and maintenance of equipment,” he said.”
“Considering the large catchment area that Bartica really is involved in, I think, the job (health care delivery) is well done here in this area…there is quite a lot that the Bartica community can be contented with,” he added.
Minister Norton noted, however that the meetings with the staff did bring to the forefront some of their concerns. He said that the Public Health ministry under his stewardship will see regular meetings with the staff. “Bearing in mind the different issues that were raised, I could see vast improvement in a short space of time.”
Going forward, with the effort at upgrading the facility to a regional one, “we have got to concentrate on the surgical aspect of the hospital,” Minister Norton said. “There is an operating theater, but that does not mean anything if we do not have a surgeon here or surgical cases being done on a regular basis, whether it is cold cases or emergency cases,” he explained. He said that a regional hospital like Bartica will definitely need four main specialist areas; paediatric, internal medicine, gynaecology and general surgery. “With that being available in here, and medical supply, and pharmaceuticals and the general administration, I think that it would put Bartica on a very favourable position in terms of health care,” he said.
He said that the mere fact that he was inaugurated just days ago, and he was already visiting health facilities, Dr Norton said that will be his approach of going on the ground to see what is going on, talking to the nurses and other personnel, finding out their issues and receiving suggestions and ideas and trying to solve those problems, he said.
While in Region Seven, the minister also visited several health posts.