— plugs dialysis treatment into 2017 budgetChief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Dr Farouk Riyasat, has made the call for dialysis treatment, improvement in laboratory services, as well as some level of infrastructural upgrade at the medical institution. He made the call while delivering the 2016-2017 projections of the LHC during a consultation last week. In his projections, Dr Riyasat outlined several plans and areas in which improvements were needed at the LHC, which also comprises the Upper Demerara Hospital at Wismar, Linden, and the Kwakwani Hospital, Upper Berbice River.In his presentation, the CEO established the need for dialysis and oncology treatment centres, noting that there is staff who specialise in the oncology area and who have undergone training at the Georgetown Public Hospital; however, he said there is no room available for patients to receive chemotherapy. Due to this, he said patients would have to travel to Georgetown, which results in additional costs.“Dialysis treatment, this is very vital. We have had a proposal that I have presented to our LHC Board for consideration and we are all in agreement that we need at least to start with two beds for our patients to have dialysis done. Many patients who are going to Georgetown spend a lot of money privately to have the dialysis done, in transportation costs… so we are pursuing this aggressively… this also will be going into the budget for 2017… It is for us now to make sure as early as possible an oncology treatment centre, where those patients who are seen and discharged be treated right here as we have the staff and professionals”, the CEO noted. This year, Dr Riyasat noted, will see the completion of an operating theatre at former LHC for ophthalmology surgery, as well as another eye care ward for post ophthalmology patients.He also revealed the limitations as it relates to laboratory services due to unavailability of equipment and training. The establishment of a psychiatric ward will also be plugged into the 2017 budget, the CEO stated.Other areasDr Riyasat also pointed to the need to acquire two more specialists at the Hospital Complex, with one being an emergency medicine specialist. He said a proposal was sent to US Embassy for the setting up of a library and computer laboratory in the LHC lecture room for staff to conduct research, workplace training, data storage and analysis.This year, the CEO said extending the emergency unit and rehabilitation department is being looked at, at the Upper Demerara Hospital, in addition to upgrades to the laboratory, since there is need for a wider spectrum of tests to be done with regards to diagnostics. He added that there are issues with water pressure, storage and availability at the Upper Demerara Hospital and the LHC will be seeking to obtain a 20,000-gallon water reservoir below or above the surface, so that water can be pumped from the Guyana Water Inc mainline to water tanks. The CEO said since the Upper Demerara Hospital is situated on a hill, the water pressure takes a longer time to store. This, he noted, was also placed in the 2017 budget. Dr Riyasat also stressed the need for a 24-hour ambulance service at the Upper Demerara Hospital. He said presently there is an unavailability of drivers and requests were sent to the Public Health Ministry to employ more drivers. He also noted that suitable accommodation is needed to accommodate technical staff, such as laboratory technicians. The CEO further stressed the need for integrated services to avoid numerous additional visits by patients.This year, he said the Linden Hospital Complex will also be looking at the instillation of switchboards, the construction of an incinerator, and to have a stretch of road asphalted from the gate to hospital entrance. Repairs will also be done to ceiling and roof of the Upper Demerara Hospital.