Find Health and Medical expertise in Guyana

Health and medical care in Guyana is provided by both public and private suppliers. The public health care system is highly decentralised and is administered through the Regional Democratic Councils and Regional Health Authorities, with ministerial oversight vested in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Public health care is primarily financed by the government, but contributions from the donor community also play a part. The Ministry of Health plays a central role in advising and co-ordinating public health care organisations, ensuring that public health services are developing in line with the government’s National Health Plan. The Public Hospital at Georgetown is Guyana’s national referral hospital. There are some 30 hospitals and many health centres throughout the country, with both public and private care available, the former usually free. The private health care sector operates independently but is subject to regulations that ensure standards of care and practice. There is significant involvement of non-governmental organisations in service delivery related to HIV/AIDS. A small pharmaceutical industry exists in the country producing a range of medicines, including antiretroviral treatments for HIV.

Public health services are  financed in large part by the government with contributions from the donor community. There is no national health insurance system in place in Guyana, although a national insurance scheme did already exist for employees in the country and was mandatory for all employed persons between the ages of 16–60, including the self-employed. Guyana’s Health Vision 2020 provides a long-term plan to consolidate the progress made in pursuit of the health MDGs, aiming to close any remaining gaps in development. It aims to establish a post-2015 development agenda for Guyana through expanding universal health coverage, and facilitating behavioural and cultural changes through the delivery of improved health services.

Government expenditure

Just over a third of health care in Guyana (34%) was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities – such as private insurers, charities or employers – in 2013. Total health expenditure constituted 6.6% of GDP in 2012, of which 66%  was covered by the government.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for an estimated 67% of all mortality in Guyana in 2012. In 2012 the most prevalent NCDs were cardiovascular diseases (33%). Cancer, diabetes and non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases contributed 10%, 9% and 1% to total mortality, respectively (2012). Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions accounted for an estimated 17% of all mortality in 2012. The prevalence of HIV in Guyana, as a percentage of people aged 15–49 years, stood at 1.4% in 2012. There has been an overall rise in the levels of HIV over the period 1990–2012. The number of deaths from malaria have fallen overall since 2004, while the number of confirmed cases of the disease fluctuated throughout the period 2000–12, having shown an initial drop before rising back to earlier levels. Estimated incidence of tuberculosis (TB) has risen overall in the period 1990–2012 and estimated mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV) has also increased during this time.

In 2013 government expenditure on health was 4% of GDP. In the most recent survey, conducted between 1997 and 2010, there were 21 doctors, and 53 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. Additionally, in 2009, 87% of births were attended by qualified health staff and in 2013, 99% of one-year-olds were immunised with a dose of measles. In 2014, 98% of people were using an improved drinking water source and 84% had access to adequate sanitation facilities.

Guyana has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which includes ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’. The covenant commits signees to providing healthy and hygienic environmental conditions, controlling epidemic diseases, improving child health and facilitating access to health services without discrimination.

Health and Medical organisations in Guyana
American International School of Medicine
American International School of Medicine
Cyril Potter College of Education
Ministry of Health
Pan-American Health Organisation