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Contract signed for new NA Hospital

-facility to have section for psychiatric patients

THE Ministry of Health has signed the contract for the construction of a new hospital at New Amsterdam, East Berbice-Corentyne, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony has disclosed.

The health minister was at the time addressing a neonatal conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal.

As he spoke about the ongoing upgrading of Guyana’s healthcare sector, he noted that the ministry recently signed a contract for the construction of the new hospital.

According to him, this facility will be on the same level as the pediatric hospital that is currently under construction at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

He indicated that the New Amsterdam facility will have approximately 220 beds with five operating theatres, along with a cardiac suite and a section for training to be conducted on-site for healthcare professionals.

A section will also be included for psychiatric patients as the health minister indicated that, based on the new legislation that was passed last year, they no longer want to keep psychiatric patients for long periods in institutions.

“The new way of treating psychiatric patients is when they have an acute episode you treat and when that episode is over, they can go home,” he added.

To this end, Dr Anthony revealed that the new facility will have approximately 120 beds for these types of patients as he noted that the current facilities that exist in New Amsterdam will then be closed.

“Those facilities, as some of you might know were built around 1869. I think with modern psychiatry, we want to close those facilities. For those patients who don’t have anywhere to go we’d have to find a halfway home for them. And that’s something we are looking at right now,” he added.

A few months ago, Regional Chairman for Region Six, David Armogan, revealed to the media that a state-of-the-art facility at New Amsterdam will come on stream soon, as part of the government’s push to improve healthcare.

Armogan stated that the facility will have technology to provide for critical medical procedures like open-heart, kidney transplant and pancreatic surgeries, all of which are currently unavailable at the New Amsterdam regional hospital.