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‘From brain drain to brain gain’ – Guyanese returning home to invest

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Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony believes the brain drain dilemma in Guyana is reversing, with numerous diaspora members returning in significant numbers to contribute to the burgeoning economy.

Minister Anthony made the statement on Monday, during the opening ceremony of the Olmac Medical Hub in Vreed-En-Hoop, West Coast Demerara.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony

The hub aims to provide high-quality medical care in a diverse range of areas, including dialysis, urgent care, podiatry, radiology, and dental care.

It was founded by Dr Philip McPherson, who hails from El Dorado, Berbice. He moved to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a physician.

However, despite continuing his practice in the United States, McPherson had a strong desire to lend his skills in his home country.

Minister Anthony said international experience can offer valuable insight into innovative techniques and processes.

The Olmac Medical Hub

According to the minister, the diaspora can leverage this knowledge to raise the bar for medical care in Guyana.

“We are now changing what was a brain drain to a brain gain, where persons like Dr McPherson and his team are coming back, not only offering good quality healthcare, but they also would be involved in teaching, which I think is very fundamental,” the minister pointed out, adding that skilled mentors are integral to elevating the quality of healthcare meted out to Guyanese.

Dr Anthony also lamented on the shortage in human and skill capacity in Guyana’s health sector, even as the government works to fill this gap through training and upskilling.

As such, he commended Dr McPherson for making this tremendous investment in Guyana’s health sector.

“I think what you have done is shown people that this is possible, and that you can come back, make this investment, and make it work so that this would be an extremely good example for others to follow,” he expressed.

The health minister noted that the facility aligns with the government’s plan to expand the health sector.

Olmac Medical Hub also features telemedicine in its operations, which the minister pointed out is a strategy that the government has already introduced and continues to expand in the public health sector.

Telemedicine is two-way, real-time interactive communication between a patient and healthcare provider through digital means.

It is supported by audio and video equipment and integrated medical devices that empower clinicians to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients remotely.

Already, telemedicine has been expanded to 25 hospitals, and the government plans to further expand it to more than 50 sites across the hinterland, riverine, and remote villages.

The minister said collaboration between the public and private sector on this front can better streamline efforts to expand healthcare. [DPI]

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