Georgetown, Guyana – (August, 29, 2015) The local health care sector has been given a further boost with the addition of 93 newly Cuban trained doctors. The graduates took the Hippocratic Oath, earlier this evening. The oath was administered by Minister in the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Karen Cummings, at a graduation ceremony, which was held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, delivering an address at the ceremony, said he looks forward to the continuation of the programme. “We are proud to inherit this programme and in …many years to come, it will be stronger,” Minister Harmon said.
The Minister told the graduates that they have completed their studies at a very important juncture in Guyana’s history. “We have a new government that is committed and resolved to providing opportunities, facilities and services, equally, to our citizens on the coastlands as well as in the hinterland,” the Minister said.
He further stated that a key element of this commitment is the delivery of health care services, as it is the administration’s belief that citizens in the hinterland and in the rural coastal communities are entitled to the same quality of services and facilities that are available in the urban centres.
“We will do well to take a keen look at the overall Cuban health care system, second to none in the Caribbean and perhaps even Latin America, in developing a strategy for health care delivery to our hinterland and rural Guyana,” the Minister of State noted. Moving forward, Minister Harmon said, the training techniques and systems which, the graduates benefitted from would help the government in establishing a viable national health care system.
“This is the spirit that we must adopt to enable us to provide a good life for all of our people,” Minister Harmon reiterated.
This graduation, Minister Harmon said, reflects the good friendship and cordial relations, which exists between Cuba and Guyana. He pointed out that from the time Guyana and other Caribbean countries established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1972, Guyana and Cuba have remained firm friends and have shared cooperation in many areas.
“In this regard, Cuba’s assistance to Guyana is perhaps greatest in the area of health care training and support. Since the 1980’s hundreds if not thousands of Guyanese medical doctors have been trained in Cuba and some of our most senior doctors and health care administrators were medical students in Cuba,” Minister Harmon pointed out. Among some of those who have benefitted from this training is the current Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton.
Minister Norton, who delivered the charge to the graduates, urged the new batch of doctors not to see their graduation as the end, but the beginning of much more to come as he noted that it is his belief that service delivery requires continued training.
Also on the occasion, Cuba’s Ambassador, His Excellency Julio Cesar Gonsalez Marchante, also offered his congratulations to the new doctors. He said it is the conviction of both governments that has resulted in their success. ”All of you had the opportunity to study and now you have the opportunity to save human beings and raise the quality of life for your people,” he told the new batch of doctors. The Ambassador also thanked the various entities who played a role in making training of the doctors successful as he pledged Cuba’s continued support to improving Guyana’s health care system.
This latest batch of doctors began their training in 2008, having spent six years in Cuba. They returned last year and were they all spent one year training at medical institutions around the country. To date, Guyana and Cuban have facilitated training for 2,600 medical doctors.

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