US Charity to help develop Radiology Services in Guyana

Last Updated on Tuesday, 7 June 2016, 17:05 by Denis Chabrol

United States based Charity, RAD-AID will be working along with the Ministry of Public Health to develop Radiology Services in Guyana with the first major step being the introduction of a Radiology Residency Programme in September of this year.

The Ministry of Public Health said team members of the Charity RAD-AID on Monday, June 6, 2016 met with Public Health Minister, Dr. George Norton to discuss their plans.

Also present at the meeting was Head of the Accident and Emergency Unit at the GPHC, Dr. Zulfikar Bux, who had reached out to the charity, since it is his belief that Radiology services in Guyana are not as developed as they should be.

RAD-AID is a group comprising of Radiologists, technologists, Nurses, and other supportive staff who work in Radiology and are dedicated to improving Radiology services in developing countries.

Director of RAD-AID Latin America, Dr. Gillian Battino said that the charity’s goal in Guyana is to improve Radiology services by bringing Guyana up to speed with what is available, in order to improve health outcomes.

According to her, the most important step in developing these services is the development of a three year Radiology Residency programme in Guyana.

“There are other examples of programmes that are built between a US institution and the Georgetown Public Hospital and we’re mimicking that so there are internal medicines, emergency medicine, obstetrics and now we will add radiology to that so that Guyanese doctors are trained to work in Guyana as radiologists,” she was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Ministry of Public Health.

Dr. Battino highlighted that Guyana needs approximately 80 radiologists to serve the population and three persons will be trained each year during the three year residency.

“We plan to utilize the educational system in place at the residency programme in the states and to have the residents spend three to six months in the states to get a foundation and then do the rest of the training in Guyana with US physicians coming to Guyana to train,” she stated.

She said that the idea is to build a sustainable programme which will continue for as long as possible. Their work in Guyana, she noted, is not limited to physician training, since they also plan to improve nurses training, with attention to radiology and technology.

According to her, improving the technology available to perform radiology procedures by adding electronic storage for x-rays which will include reporting systems is a major part of their efforts in Guyana.

Dr. Battino said that they hope to put a system in place where an X-ray can be obtained in Bartica and read in Georgetown, using the internet.

RAD-AID will be donating an Ultra sound machine to the Emergency Department at the Georgetown Public Hospital. The Charity also received four CT scanners from Phillips Corporation and will be handing over two of them to Guyana, with the remaining two going to Haiti.

The two CT Scanners, which are valued at US$200,000 each, will be placed at the New Amsterdam Regional Hospital in Region 6 (East Berbice/Corentyne) and the Bartica Regional Hospital in Region 7 (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).

Public Health Minister, Dr. George Norton thanked the team for their efforts and told them that he is looking forward to their support in the future.

He was especially happy about the residency programme, since he is a strong advocate for Continuing Medical Education.