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Cameron positive about WICB rebranding, commercialisation

first_imgHead of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron, is hoping that the creation of a new commercial entity for the regional body will over time transform its economic fortunes. The entity, which, according to Cameron, is to be filled with suitable and qualified individuals, will, among other things, seek to implement income-generating activities, including the acquisition of sponsorships and the striking of television broadcast deals. “We have just created a new commercial arm of the WICB and have hired Pitch International,” says Cameron. “The real aim of this is to ensure that we move away from the sociopolitical issues we have at the WICB and have a company that is fully geared at commercialising West Indies cricket.” He added: “We have also changed the name of the WICB – again, too much (negative) history, and baggage – to Cricket West Indies.” Cricket West Indies, Cameron said, is to largely focus on governance and management-related issues. The organisation’s commercial arm, Cameron highlighted, will be similar to that of the International Cricket Council (ICC) which, in recent years, instituted the ICC Business Corporation to carry out its corporate functions. The Jamaican business executive, in expressing confidence about the new ventures, also said that the compilation and duties of the commercial entity will be revealed shortly. “We will not release the names at the moment, but I am sure you will hear very, very soon,” he said. Meanwhile, reporting on the financial state of the WICB, Cameron said the organisation, for the first time in a while, has realised a US$3.5m surplus, and the hope is that this trend will continue. “As of September 30, 2015, the WICB has recorded a surplus in excess of three-and-a-half million US dollars, unaudited,” he said. “This is the first time, I can remember, that we have ever done that.”last_img read more

Wakenaam hospital is part of the declining public health system

first_imgDear Editor,Every day, another horrifying public health story shocks the people of Guyana. Last week, at least three families were forced to use ice boxes to store the bodies of their deceased relatives in Wakenaam. Even as storage was a problem because of the malfunctioning mortuary refrigerators, deceased bodies could not be removed from the hospital because there was no doctor to sign-off the death certificates. One family complained that their relative died on Friday, but was still there on Sunday because they had to await the arrival of a doctor. Up to Sunday afternoon, there still was no doctor, and when checks were made about noon on Monday, a doctor was still unavailable to sign-off the death and so relatives were forced to continue using the icebox to keep the body from deteriorating.At Wakenaam District Hospital, the problems are many – the malfunctioning mortuary is obscene. But there are other problems. Availability of doctors has become a major concern for citizens in this humble farming community. In a discussion with the Chairman of the NDC on the island, he confirmed there is a major problem with missing doctors, with availability becoming periodic rather than sustained. This important district hospital, more often now, has no doctors. The Ministry of Public Health has completely ignored the urgent calls from citizens in Wakenaam and from the RDC of Region Three to address the doctor availability problem. Even as the availability of doctors, nurses and other service providers at the Wakenaam Hospital affect the delivery of public health, the availability of medicines has become a chronic problem. It is as if the Ministry of Public Health is in a mode of phasing out the Wakenaam District Hospital.Public health in Guyana has rapidly declined since May 2015. For most of that time, Ms Volda Lawrence, the People’s National Congress (PNC) Chairman, has been in charge of the Public Health Ministry. This lady, who vowed her only friends are “PNC-people” and that as the Chairman of the PNC and as a senior Minister in the APNU/AFC Cabinet her mandate is to find jobs “only for PNC-people”, failed to appreciate that public health must be for all people. She failed to recognise that when public health fails, it affects all Guyanese, including “PNC-people”. The next person who requires the use of a mortuary or an X-ray or medicines or doctors might well be one of these “PNC-people”. We never know the next person who needs the public health system.The rapid deterioration of the public health system is on display every single day, with newspaper, TV and radio news and public discourse stories highlighting the many struggles people endure as they try to access public health. A week ago, I had frantic calls from the Essequibo Island of Wakenaam about troubles at the district hospital there. This hospital, which should be a place where people go for their ailments, is now a place filled with its own ailments as described above.As Minister of Health, I worked diligently with our people, the public health staff and the Government to ensure we stopped the practice of iceboxes to preserve the bodies of our loved ones. We ensured that all our district hospitals were equipped to provide refrigerated storage of the bodies of deceased persons. But non-functioning mortuaries has become a malady of the public health system. There are occasionally reports that the mortuary of the GPHC, the premier hospital in Guyana, is down. There have been reports of other non-functioning mortuaries around the country. For many months now, the mortuary at New Amsterdam has been unavailable. Passing through Mahaicony two days ago, I was similarly told by residents that Mahaicony is not offering refrigerated mortuary service presently. At Fort Wellington, the refrigerated mortuary facility used is a private mortuary, paid for by the families of the deceased patients. It is heartbreaking that the public health sector adds further trauma and stress to people because they must worry about the preservation of the bodies of their deceased relatives.As this unnecessary stress intensifies within the public sector, the Minister herself has treated this important function of the public health sector as an orphan. In a recent trip to commission a repaired kitchen at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, a few feet away from the empty, unused, broken-down mortuary, she completely ignored that the hospital forces people to use private mortuary services, at a cost many of them cannot afford. Even as people outside picketed her, trying to draw her attention to the non-availability of mortuary services at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, she ignored any recognition that there is a problem.In the last week, Volda Lawrence, who still refuses to acknowledge the people fired her on December 21 and that she has been illegally squatting as the Minister of Public Health since March 21, has visited Regions Six, Five and Three. Ms Lawrence and her APNU/AFC colleagues have unfortunately been rejected by the people, having to speak to only people who were bussed-in and greeted with protesters everywhere. But even as they parade across these regions, brazenly funding their political campaign with taxpayers’ money, she totally ignores the many, many problems in a rapidly declining public health system. Ms Lawrence must take responsibility for a declining public health sector.Sincerely,Dr Leslie RamsammyFormer Health Ministerlast_img read more