President David Granger: His Excellency, Zhang Limin and Madam Liu Yue, Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Moses Nagamootoo; Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan; Honourable Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon; members of the outgoing Chinese medical team; members of the incoming Chinese medical team; members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, particularly Director-General Mrs. Audrey Waddell; members of the Chinese community; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen:
I wish on behalf of the Government and People of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to thank the departing group of medical professionals from the People’s Republic of China who have provided dedicated and distinguished service to Guyana’s health sector.
I am happy to welcome the members of the 12th batch of the Chinese medical team who will succeed their departing colleagues. The newly arrived team will continue the cooperation between Guyana and China in the health sector. It is a pleasure for me and an honour to say hello and goodbye. Hello to the 12th batch and goodbye to the 11th batch of the Chinese medical team.
The relationship between our two Republics has flourished on many fronts since formal diplomatic relations were established on the 27th of June 1972. As you know, persons of Chinese origin have been living in Guyana for 163 years and, unique in the western hemisphere, the first President of our republic was a person of Chinese origin.
Over the last 44 years, the friendships between our two countries have intensified. Cooperation in the health sector has been a distinguishing feature of human relations, which emphasize not only the formal engagement between our two republics but more particularly the personal and everyday friendship between our two peoples.
Excellency, the medical teams have strengthened the partnership between Guyana and China in the field of health. This partnership has fostered the development of a healthy population and thereby contributed to the wealth of our nation.
The wellbeing of our people is the basis of human happiness and of economic progress. The medical teams which commenced their missions to the Guyanese people in 1993, 23 years ago, have been an integral part of our relationship.
The medical teams were made possible by the protocol and the medical cooperation between the Governments of the Republics of Guyana and China which was signed on the 26th of May 1993, which is also the day of Guyana’s independence anniversary.
The medical teams in the ensuing years made a significant contribution to the Guyanese health sector. The teams have combined the efforts and expertise of more than 160 Chinese medical experts.
They have specialized in the fields of acupuncture, anaesthetics, gynaecology, nephrology, oncology, ophthalmology, pathology, radiology, urology, obstetrics, paediatrics, general surgery, plastic surgery, and osteopathy.
Excellency, thousands of our Guyanese citizens have benefited from the expertise of these specialists and from the equipment which was donated under this medical programme.
Guyanese are extremely grateful for the work and the contribution of the Chinese medical team.
The cooperation between our two Republics is evident in the establishment of an eye centre at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the commissioning of a centre for laparoscopic surgery at the Linden Hospital Complex in September 2014.
We recall with fondness that this ceremony was graced by the distinguished presence of Dr. Li Bin, the Honourable Minister of Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China.
Excellency, we wish on behalf of the Government and people of Guyana and, on my own behalf, to express our deepest appreciation for the general spirit of friendly cooperation which has characterized relations between our two countries. Guyana values its relations with China and looks forward to expanding and deepening the ties of cooperation between our two countries.
Allow me, Excellency, to wish the departing members of the 11th team a safe journey back home to China and to welcome the 12th team comprising 16 persons.
We would like to assure the incoming team of our government’s consideration as they embark on the good work of their predecessors.
Excellency, I thank you and welcome.