Georgetown 31 March 2022- PAHO Guyana, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), implemented a national consultation process for the proposed Package of Essential Health Services for Primary Health Care of Guyana.
In his opening remarks at a consultation with all Directors and Heads of Units of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, highlighted the country's vision to achieve Universal Health Coverage gradually.
As stated by the Minister, the package, prepared by the MoH with technical assistance from PAHO, is a critical milestone that will project adequate human resources to be trained and deployed in the ten administrative regions of Guyana.
Minister Anthony also mentioned that the preparation of the package would also be useful to plan for the expansion of facilities, medicines, health services, and medical equipment across the country. This package will enable Guyana to ensure access to health services for all gradually. "The package has about 115 different health conditions that are important for us to deliver at the various levels of care." Said Dr. Frank Anthony.
Dr. James Fitzgerald, PAHO Director of Health Systems and Services, in his presentation, highlighted that the adoption of a package that will be progressively expanded in Guyana is a pathway toward Universal Health Coverage. This process may require strengthening the response capacity of the health system at the national level, which is something the Ministry of Health of Guyana is also envisioning.
Dr. Luis Codina, PAHO/WHO Guyana Representative, in his remarks, also highlighted PAHO technical support being provided to the MoH to update health legislation that will facilitate the implementation of the package. Dr. Codina also highlighted that the package is being costed with technical support from PAHO.
As mentioned by Dr. Luis Codina, PAHO is also supporting the MoH Guyana to define a service delivery model based on integrated health service delivery networks at the regional level, to update national clinical guidelines that will inform the preparation of treatment pathways, and to estimate the human resources needed for its gradual implementation.
Following this consultation, PAHO organized technical sessions with each of the 10 administrative regions to discuss their priorities for gradual adoption of the package, health system adjustments, and operational aspects required for the implementation of the package.
As a result of these technical sessions, PAHO will support the implementation of the package by providing technical cooperation for the adoption of a national laboratory strategy, a referral system, the preparation of regional health profiles and needs, the preparation of annual regional health plans and their costing, as well as the definition of regional integrated networks.
The preparation of the regional health plans and their costing will be important for the MoH to explore the reallocation of funding available for 2022 and formulate the health sector budget in the coming years.