The government is to move ahead with its election promise to upgrade and expand the existing maternity ward at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) with the approval of budgetary allocations in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
A total of $59.3 million was approved on the capital side of expenditure for the GPHC through which several upgrades at the hospital is to be funded.
Health Minister Dr. George Norton clarified that the maternity ward will be expanded by some 50 beds and is already 50% complete while plans are afoot to increase the numbers of incubators to accommodate all newborns at the hospital.
When questioned by the opposition on whether the upgrade will be enough for the average 7,000 annual live deliveries, Dr. Norton responded in the affirmative.
“We intended to never have again to see patients doubling up on one bed… the 50 beds and other details were arrived at after evaluation and assessment and I believe it will be enough,” he said. There are plans to upgrade delivery theatres and classrooms at the hospital.
During the election campaign, the APNU+AFC coalition promised Guyanese, a better delivery of health care at the GPHC, which is the country’s primary health care provider.
Prior to those elections, the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government had turned the sod for a $263M expansion of the GPHC maternity ward.
During the election campaign, an overhaul of the GPHC had been touted by the coalition as a significant area in enhancing the health sector.
The National Assembly also approved an addition $3.9 billion which will also be used over the next four months in the day to day operations of the GPHC. (Kurt Campbell)