Government is moving to have the Diamond and Leonora diagnostic centres upgraded soon, improving the delivery of healthcare services to patients.According to Government, the Public Health Ministry, in collaboration with the Communities Ministry, will soon advance works in Jawalla, Kako, Katchikamo, Port Kaituma, Kato, and Kurukubaru, to facilitate improved living accommodation for health professionals in the hinterland.The Finance Ministry’s 2016 mid-year report said that upgrade works are also expected to commence shortly at the Diamond and Leonora diagnostic centres, while work is ongoing at the Port Kaituma Hospital Complex. The latter is expected to be completed by year-end.The Diamond Diagnostic CentreThe interventions, at Diamond and Leonora, are expected to improve the efficiency of healthcare service delivery to citizens in the immediate and surrounding areas, by reducing the congestion at the country’s national referral hospital – the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) – and the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH). Further, several other projects are scheduled for the second half of the year. These include the upgrading of the Tuberculosis (TB) Step Down Care Facility at the WDRH, along with the rehabilitation of a building to permanently house the Mental Health Secretariat, the report stated.“With regard to the modernisation of three select primary healthcare facilities, designs and building plans were completed and sent to the Government of India for consideration. Finally, the Government is reviewing options for the way forward for the Specialty Hospital Project, in light of the debarring of the prospective contractor by the World Bank and concerns expressed by the Government of India,” the Government Information News Agency (GINA) reported.For the first half of the year, the Health Ministry, according to GINA, expended a total $11.5 billion of its $28 billion National Budget. Of this sum, $407 million was spent on the construction, rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of health infrastructure countrywide. This included the construction of a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit for cardiac patients at GPHC, where progress also continues to be made towards the completion of the cardiac theatre and the extension of the Maternity Unit, where an additional 50-bed capacity will benefit expectant mothers.Additionally, $189 million was also spent on the purchase and maintenance of medical equipment, GINA highlighted.
…calls for firing of ChairmanThe Board of Directors of National Agricultural and Research Extension Institute (NAREI) has rejected an attempt by its Chairman, Dr Patrick Chesney to remove Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Oudho Homenauth.On Saturday, Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder confirmed that he has received a report of the incident and the ministry has since launched an ibestigation.“I’m aware of the matter and it’s being discussed so we’re looking at it to deliberate on a resolution,” said Holder.He also confirmed that it was the staff of NAREI who called for an investigation of the chairman’s action.Sources have revealed that Dr Chesney filed a motion two weeks ago to have the CEO removed. He then put forward motion to the Board of Directors to have Dr Homenauth dismissed.NARIE CEO,Dr Oudho Homenauth“Dr Chesney came on the Board about six months now and almost from the beginning, he writes very insulting things about the CEO and eventually at one of the Board meetings, he decided to move a motion to have Dr Homenauth dismissed.”The source, who is an employee at the institute, indicated that the Chairman insisted that the motion be voted upon by members of the Board. However, Chesney was the only individual who voted in favour of the motion which he brought forward.“He said let’s vote and when the vote was taken, he was the only person voting in favour of the dismissal. Not everyone was at the meeting, but seven Board members voted against,” the source said.Guyana Times was told that the Board members have appealed to the Agriculture Minister to intervene in the matter and have since asked the Government to remove Chesney.“The members of the Board made an appeal to the minister, saying that we want the Chairman to go.”Meanwhile, this publication understands that at a Board meeting on Thursday, Chesney attempted again to have the motion heard. However, this was not possible since only three members were present.In what is termed a “very serious matter”, employees of NAREI have indicated their concerns about the “adamancy” of the Chairman to have the CEO removed and therefore, are calling for an investigation at the soonest.Guyana Times was unable to contact Dr Chesney for a comment on the matter.Dr Homenauth has been working at NAREI for the past 17 years. read more