Georgetown, Guyana – (August 27, 2016) As an additional 86 medical doctors, this evening, graduated from the Guyana/Cuba Medical Scholarship Programme, Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon urged the practitioners to commit themselves to selfless and dedicated service as they begin their professional careers. The Minister made these comments while giving the feature address at the Graduation Ceremony for the 2016 batch of Medical Doctors, held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Liliendaal.

The Minister said that the Guyana/Cuba Medical Scholarship Programme serves as a testimony to the long and fruitful relationship between the two countries, with Guyana benefitting from Cuba in the areas of health, agriculture, education and sport. “The Cuban Scholarship Programme continues to perhaps be the greatest area of assistance, with the Medical Scholarship Programme being the ‘flagship project’ of training and support,” the Minister said. Moreover, he said that the friendship and solidarity between the two countries will continue to grow under the administration of His Excellency, President David Granger.

Minister Joseph Harmon urged the graduates to commit themselves to selfless and dedicated service

Additionally, Minister Harmon said that the actual presence of Cuban doctors in Guyana, who provide medical assistance in Guyana, continues to contribute to the overall healthcare delivery system. “It should be noted that prior to 2015, doctors have never been assigned to hinterland health centres. [Today] Doctors have replaced medexes at health centres to diagnose and treat patients in their communities and reduce referrals to hospitals,” he said. In fact, the Minister noted that there has been an increase in the number of doctors in hinterland areas throughout the countries. He said that the graduates can now add to the government’s existing efforts to deliver quality health care to the people of Guyana. “This is a crucial part of our government’s commitment to providing a good life for all Guyanese,” the Minister said.

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the Graduates were required to take the Hippocratic Oath, during the ceremony

Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton urged that as the graduates enter the public healthcare system, that they work as hard as they can to continue raising the quality of healthcare in Guyana, particularly with regard to the reduction of infant, child and maternal mortality. Minister Norton also pledged the government’s commitment to continue to provide opportunities for doctors to pursue post-graduate studies in areas such as emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, internal medicine and orthopaedics. “The vision of the Ministry of Public Health is to make sure that all the people of Guyana are among the healthiest in the Caribbean and the Americas by the year 2020, and I know that together we can make it happen,” the Minister told the graduates.

Cuban Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Julio César González Marchante highlighted the importance of solidarity especially in the interest of maintaining a strong bilateral relationship. He said that the Guyana/Cuba Medical Scholarship Programme is a reflection of the solidarity and internationalism that the two countries practice. “Only in solidarity will we be able to face the significant challenges we have at present and to achieve a better world that is totally possible,” he said.

As part of the graduation ceremony, the doctors were required to take the Hippocratic Oath. Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, administered the Oath. Seven hundred and fifty eight Guyanese doctors have graduated from the Guyana/Cuba Medical Scholarship Programme over the last ten years.

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