Last Updated on Sunday, 3 September 2023, 21:29 by Denis Chabrol
The 154-year-old Psychiatric Hospital, Berbice would be closed eventually, and provision made to accommodate mentally ill patients at a new New Amsterdam Hospital that would be constructed, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said.l
“Over time, the current facilities that we have in New Amsterdam, we’ll be closing those facilities,” he told the opening of a Neonatal conference at the weekend.
The Psychiatric Hospital was built in 1869, but “I think with modern psychiatry we need to close those facilities.”
He said the new New Amsterdam Hospital would include 120 beds for acutely ill psychiatric patients.
Based on the new legislation passed last year, The Health Minister said the public health sector would no longer be keeping psychiatric patients for extended periods but would treat and discharge them when they recover from serious episodes. “The new way of treating psychiatric patients is when they have an acute episode, you treat and when that episode is over you can go home,” he said.
He said government would provide a half-way home “f0r those patients who don’t have anywhere to go.”
Dr Anthony said the New Amsterdam Hospital would consist of 220 beds, five operating theatres and a cardiac suite. A section of the complex, according to the Health Minister, would house training facilities for doctors, nurses and allied health workers.
Meanwhile, in keeping with the Guyana government’s thrust for the provision of equitable health care, Dr Anthony also announced that new hospitals would be built in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo), Moruca, Region One (Barima-Waini), Kato, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Kamarang, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). “Whatever we’re doing on the coast, we want the same types of facilities in the interior of Guyana so that care can be even across-the-board. You know, we have differential care right now because they’re things that people in the interior of Guyana cannot get and very often we have these patients, we have to fly them out to Georgetown,” he said.
The Health Minister acknowledged that the brain drain of nurses continued to be a matter of concern to Guyana, despite an increase in health care workers’ salaries earlier this year. “Hopefully, that will create more retention,” he said.
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