… Parika Health Centre to get Dental and X-ray UnitAn X-ray machine has been sitting in the crate in which it came for over five years at the Leguan CottagePublic Health Minister, Dr George Norton highlighting the substandard work done at the facilityDr Norton and the US expert Mark Giboney examining the X-ray machineHospital, in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and health authorities have no idea why no attempts were made to have the piece of equipment set up and functioning.Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton was completely flabbergasted when he visited the health facility over the weekend. “I can’t understand why such a machine would be allowed to just lay up in the corner,” he expressed.With the help of the regional authorities, the Minister opened the crate to examine the machine. It was then discovered that the machine is an outdated Chinese brand and officials were unable to determine if it works and whether all parts were available.Nonetheless, the Minister charged the health authorities to have the X-ray department up and running as soon as possible.Health officials were unable to say when X-ray services will be offered to the public because of the magnitude of tasks that need to be completed.The building was constructed under the previous Administration to function as the X-ray department and laboratory. However, according to Principal Radiographer at the Public Health Ministry, Donna Bowman, the building itself needs to undergo extensive modifications and repairs before it can serve as intended.The door needs to be lined with lead, the walls need to be fortified against radiation and a protective barrier needs to be created for the X-ray machine’s control panel among other things.Bowman further explained that no one consulted her department before constructing the facility, and now changes will have to be made which will now be both costly and challenging. In light of the changes which are needed, the present Administration has allocated $5 million to modify the building which is expected to be completed by the end of June.Dr Norton stressed that every effort will be made to have the facility functioning as intended.An X-ray department is expected to greatly aid the hospital in its functioning. The hospital has had to refer cases for X-ray to the West Demerara Hospital.Meanwhile, Mark Giboney, a Biomedical Technician attached with the United States Army Reserve, accompanied the Minister on his tour with the intention of offering assistance to Guyana.Giboney said he will make attempts to organise an arrangement where the US Army can dispatch a mission to Guyana to go from site to site to examine the equipment at the various health facilities across the country and determine what ways to provide assistance.Giboney also collected a list of certain basic equipment lacking at the various health facilities and will try to mobilise a team to make donations to Guyana.Moreover, the Parika Health Centre will soon be equipped with both an X-ray and a dental unit. During his visit there, the Minister was informed that the facility is 95 per cent complete.At Parika, the installation of lead glass, a hatch and air conditioning units are all that remain to be completed.However, sourcing the glass is expected to take roughly two months.The X-ray service will become available shortly after installation of additional parts once they are obtained, Regional Health Officer, Dr Shawn Bancroft explained. There are already trained technicians to man the facility once it is up and running.The Dental Unit is also expected to be operationalised shortly.