In an effort to boost the functioning of the Diamond Diagnostic Centre (DDC), East Bank Demerara, the Public
Health Ministry on Wednesday announced that it has replaced the hospital’s superintendent and is in the process of employing a new Administrator.
This information was revealed to Guyana Times during a telephone interview with Public Health Minister, George Norton.
Norton explained that his ministry came to the decision after his visit to the facility Friday last, where he consulted with the hospital’s management on various issues plaguing the institution.
However, the names of the selected persons for those positions are yet to be revealed.
The minister also told this publication of plans to employ a regional pharmacist to assist with the procurement of medication.
“We are hoping that at the level of the region that we can employ a regional pharmacist to help in the procurement of medication, because this is one of the major issues that we noticed at the hospital, the failure to procure medication”.
“This information I am disclosing to you because this will have a lot to do with the efficient functioning of the Diamond Diagnostic Centre” Dr Norton stated.
Assuring of the enhancement of performance at Diamond, Dr Norton explained that changes being made at the facility are being followed by the Public Health Ministry ‘closely’.
Since the visit, works commenced on extension of the Maternity Wing.
“We already know what we have to do; we not only have to put infrastructure in place but also change the attitude of our work force,” Dr Norton stated.
On Friday last, the public health minister visited the hospital and lambasted management over the deteriorating conditions there.
He said the Diagnostic Centre was built with a purpose, a purpose which it is currently not achieving because administrators are not operating as they should.
He said it is the duty of the administrators to bring to the attention of the Public Health Ministry problems they are faced with but this is not being done.
Assessing the situation, Dr Norton stated: “We cannot afford to have Diamond Diagnostic Centre crumble, this is not going to happen, and we are going to implement the necessary changes to bring it back to where it was—and even better.”
With a visible list of the problems affecting the facility, then Medical Superintendent Dr Michael Pereira relayed that among the issues are the shortage of doctors, nurses, drugs, and medical equipment.
Because of these shortages surgeries at the institution cannot be conducted and persons are being referred constantly to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH).
Dr Pereira informed that there are no certified pharmacists at the hospital nor are there sufficient ambulance drivers.
The minister was also told that employees are not being paid on time; there is no Police Outpost; and no security service is available. There is also the need for social workers.
The administrators also decried the poor facilities they are forced to work with on a daily basis.
According to the administrators, there are broken doors; non-functional air-conditioning units, leaking roof, insufficient equipment and medication in the ambulances and the lack of pure water.
Presently the fire service has been supplying the hospital with water as Guyana Water Incorporation (GWI) is facing difficulties supplying water not only to the hospital but to the entire area.
Visibly frustrated, both Dr Norton and Junior Public Health Minister Dr Karen Cummings urged them to find a way to fix the situation urgently.