By RON FANFAIR
Nearly 900 Guyanese doctors will be ready to work in the country’s health care system in the next three years after graduating from the world renowned Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, says Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo.
“Even if we lose 200, it will not be a big issue because we will have more than enough to service our system,” he told nationals at the launch of Guyana Independence festivities last Saturday at L’Amoreaux Community Centre.
Jagdeo said many of the new doctors will be assigned to eight recently completed hospitals in rural Guyana.
“We are not just getting personnel ready, but we are investing in our resources,” he said.
Guyana has been depleted of a substantial number of professionals who have taken their skills overseas for much more significant remuneration.
Reiterating his concern of this “brain drain”, Jagdeo said it’s absolutely necessary that his government create enticing jobs that nationals will consider pursuing instead of seeking overseas opportunities.
“We have that platform today,” he said. “We have substantially improved the health care and education systems and we now have to make a quantum leap into the future.”
This was the ninth time that Jagdeo has attended the weekend activities since it was launched in 1997.
He said Guyana has withstood the global financial challenges in the last two years that have crippled some countries. The economy, he added, experienced the second highest growth rate in the Western Hemisphere and the highest in South America last year.
“The foreign reserve is at the highest it has ever been and we are using four per cent of our revenues to service our debt,” Jagdeo said. “In addition, the inflation rate is in single digit and we are funding more of our needs and capital programs using our own resources.”
Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter David, who was in the city last week on business, attended the event as did Members of Parliament Michelle Simpson and Jim Karygiannis, Provincial MPP Bas Balkissoon and members of the CARICOM diplomatic corps.