Residents of Paramakatoi and surrounding communities in Region Eight will soon benefit from an upgraded health facility, under the Smart Hospitals Initiative. A $44.4 million contract was on Tuesday awarded to the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) for the retrofitting of the Paramakatoi Health Centre.
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said the government’s goal is to ensure Guyana has one of the healthiest populations in the Caribbean. He said while the GDF is not traditionally known for such projects, its engineering corps has been working especially in the Interior.
Dr. Anthony thanked the partners involved, PAHO/WHO that is implementing and supervising the project, while the Government of the United Kingdom is providing the funding. Commander Vernon Burnett, who represented the Chief- of -Staff, noted that the GDF is happy to be partnering with the people of Paramakatoi, and is confident about completing the project in the specified time.
British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller noted that the smart hospital initiative exists in seven countries around the Caribbean. She said the idea is to retrofit those facilities to be adaptable to climate and different disasters that may occur.
She said, too, for the facilities seen so far; the transformation is mind-blowing and is reflected in the positive response from patients and health care workers who use them.
“One of the reasons for this initiative is to have smart hospitals which are solar-powered, which are rainwater shedding, which have better lighting, which have a better flow of patients, better health facilities and much more resilient to this new climate crisis in which we all live,” Miller added.
The smart healthcare facilities in the Caribbean project is being funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development, at a cost of $835 million (US$4.175 million).
The local facilities that are listed as beneficiaries of the project are the Diamond Diagnostic Hospital, the Leonora Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, Mabaruma Regional Hospital, and the Paramakatoi Health Centre. The project is expected to be completed in four months.