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Health Ministry to establish 80 telemedicine sites by year-end

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The government, through the Ministry of Health, will be expanding its telemedicine capabilities to 80 health posts and centres in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), by the end of the year.

In 2023, 25 telemedicine sites were established in the hinterland to provide specialised care to the locals.

A demonstration of how the telemedicine system works

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said another 25 sites will be operational within two months, with the overarching goal of creating 80 telemedicine sites by the end of 2024.

Telemedicine is a method of two-way, real-time interactive communication between a patient and healthcare provider at different locations. It is supported by audio and video equipment, as well as integrated medical devices to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients remotely.

This is particularly beneficial in Guyana’s case, where Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Medics can liaise with experts from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and other secondary health institutions, using medical and electronic communication devices.

A telemedicine unit was recently commissioned in the Waramuri Village, Region One

The telemedicine program was officially launched in 2022, with four Amerindian communities in Region Nine (Masakenari, Nappi, Yupukari, and Parikawarinau) piloting the programme.

The programme was later expanded to 25 communities in Regions One, Seven, Eight, Nine, and 10, with the allocation of $1.8 billion in the ministry’s 2023 budget.

The implementation of the telemedicine program is part of a holistic government effort to transform Guyana’s healthcare system to match international standards.

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