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Guyana's first ever surgical Post Graduate Diploma Programme was launched yesterday at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

The programme which began two weeks ago is a collaborative effort between the hospital, the University of Guyana and the Canadian Association of General Surgeons. Accredited by the University of Guyana , the programme will run for 30 months and will be delivered by the GPHC and the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS).

Funding for the initiative will be shared by the GPHC and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Director of Medical and Professional Services of the GPHC and programme Coordinator, Dr. Madan Rambarran, said this is another step in training being undertaken by the institution to enhance the quality of services offered to the public.

As part of the programme, students will spend two years training at GPHC and six months at outstation settings in riverain areas.

Dr. Rambarran said the idea is to develop a cadre of community based surgeons to function at health centres in far flung locations of the country.

He noted that while the new surgeons might not be able to conduct all types of surgeries, they will be able to facilitate the simpler procedures which will take the load off the major health institutions. Teachers for the programme will be taken from the GPHC along with volunteers from CAGI who will visit Guyana periodically to deliver specific components of the syllabus.

Among the local facilitators of the programme are Dr. Dalgleish Joseph, Dr. Shaik Ameer and Dr. F. Jeffrey.

General Surgeon of the Mac Masters University in Canada , Dr. Shea Chia arrived in Guyana two days ago to begin a two-week stint of the module.

She reported that she is impressed with the knowledge of the resident doctors as well as the quality of work.

Dr. Chia noted that differences exist in terms of technology but believes that the experience will be a challenging one. In addition to classroom activity, CAGI will lend of its knowledge to the programme via tele conferences. To date, five resident doctors of the GPHC are the participants of the programme.

The criteria for entry are completion of the Masters of Bachelors Degree and one year experience.

On completion of the course, it will be assessed to ascertain its effectiveness following which the programme will be extended to other areas of medicine.

Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery at the Mac Masters University Brian Cameron expressed his satisfaction that the programme had come to fruition and reassured his hospital's commitment to assisting in its execution.

He informed that some 40 persons from his institution had volunteered their services.

Cameron related that 12 persons will visit Guyana to help facilitate the programme.


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