- Covid-19 response, 6 new medical facilities, upgrades to health facilities among key focus.
The Government has injected $73.2B in the health sector to ensure a modern, world class, health care system for citizens across the country. This was announced by Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh during his National 2022 Budget speech.
These monies allocated will expand access to health services, improve facilities in every region to ensure it is equipped with all the basic amenities.
“In 2022, a total of $16.1 billion has been budgeted to launch a major expansion in public health care facilities. Of the amount allocated, $12.4 billion will be used for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art paediatric and maternal hospital, upgrading of the West Demerara and Bartica regional hospitals, and the construction of six modern regional hospitals at Anna Regina, Tuschen, Diamond, Enmore, Bath and No. 75 Village, Corentyne,"
the Senior Minister of Finance said. These six new regional hospitals are expected to reduce the number referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Also, in 2022’s budget, a sum of $2 billion has been set aside for medical and non-medical equipment.
"Of this amount, $359.3 million is earmarked for our national referral hospital, the GPHC, which will allow for the increased use of laparoscopic surgical techniques – serving to improve surgical outcomes and reduce recovery time – and for the introduction of vascular surgery, for the first time,"
Minister Singh noted.
$39M has been budgeted for the extension of the mental health ward at the national referral hospital and $50M for training including in areas such as addiction and rehabilitation. The COVID-19 response has been allocated $6.8M for the provision of 260,000 doses of vaccines for booster shots and unvaccinated persons.
"Recognising that the pandemic will continue to demand dedicated attention, in 2022, the COVID-19 response programme will continue to heavily rely on masking, physical distancing, ventilation and sanitising requirements, access to COVID-19 vaccines and care and treatment at the IDH. Additionally, we anticipate operationalising a maternal delivery room, oxygen plant and physiotherapy department, among others, at the IDH."
$17.9 billion has been budgeted to procure medical supplies as the government intends to eliminate incidences of drug shortages by 2030.