High-tech diagnostic system among 2023 plans-Health Minister

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 January 2023, 16:16 by Denis Chabrol

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony on Tuesday announced that Guyana’s health care professionals would soon be able conduct diagnosis remotely.

He also told the National Assembly that 1,000 nurses would be trained this year and 1,000 Guyanese would receive hearing aids free of cost on top of the 500 that were provided with those devices each of which costs GY$60,000 on the market.

Dr Anthony said the tele-diagnostic system would allow doctors to test eyes, conduct x-rays and the remote transfer of images called tele-pathology.  “This would cause the turnaround time for samples sent to the labs to be much shorter,” he said.

Already, the Health Ministry has established a Tele-Medicine system to serve the remote southern Rupununi community of Gunns via Internet-based satellite connectivity to doctors at the Lethem Hospital or Georgetown Hospital. Through that system, he said, health care workers could diagnose patients, prescribe treatment or movement of the patient to another healthcare facility for better treatment.

He restated that government would be building seven hospitals across Guyana in addition to the 256-bed paediatric and maternal hospital.

The Health Minister said 1,000 nurses would be trained this year to strengthen the human resource capacity of the health sector, in contrast to a 2020 election campaign promise to train nurses for export.

Also in the pipeline of projects, he said was the use of malaria rapid tests at health centres where “we have all the medicines to make sure they are treated properly”, new cancer-treatment services and new national guidelines for the treatment of diabetes.

The Health Minister said already All Terrain Vehicles, ambulances, boats and motorcycles have been provided to hinterland communities to improve the transportation of medical personnel and patients.