Ramsammy promises…
Trained psychiatrist at each health facility by 2003
Guyana Chronicle
October 13, 2001

MINISTER of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy has announced that Government will utilise all its resources to improve mental health care.

It is a priority in his Ministry’s programme, he told a ‘World Mental Health Day’, last Wednesday, at the National Psychiatric Hospital compound, Fort Canje, Berbice.

Ramsammy assured the gathering that, by 2003, a trained psychiatrist will be available at each health facility to effectively deal with the phenomenon.

Pledging Government’s commitment to deal with the social issue, he called on the community, health workers and families to cooperate.

He said the collaborative effort would provide greater support for those suffering from mental health illness.

The event, staged under the theme ‘Stop exclusion to Care’, drew 200 participants from Government ministries, religious groups, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

Drepaul Sarwan, Bibi Jafferally and Leslie Holder, who are employed there, were awarded for their outstanding contribution to the hospital, at the function which was part of week-long activities to mark World Mental Health Day.

Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) Vice-Chairman Kadim Bacchus, Regional Health Officer Dr Kalika Persaud, Community Development Officer Fazal Jafferally and Hospital Administrator Audrey Field were among those who took part in the Wednesday activity.

Earlier, Ramsammy disclosed, to the 12-member Management Committee, that $19M has been allocated to refurbish the institution.

The project envisages construction of an administrative block and two additional wards to accommodate more patients and ease overcrowding, general improvements to the complex and provision of more amenities.

In remarks to the Committee, the Minister stressed the importance of the tendering process and urged adherence to its procedure while reiterating Government’s policy of transparency and accountability.

Ramsammy and Permanent Secretary Doerga Persaud also held discussions with a Japanese delegation on funding for the building of another public hospital in New Amsterdam at a cost of $20M.

Work on that modern facility is expected to start early next year, officials said.