Burmese healthcare is being boosted by a high level vision for modernizing Burma's main hospital, from a team led by Professor the Lord Ara Darzi.
On 26 November 2014, Lord Darzi presented recommendations for improving Yangon General Hospital (YGH) to the cross party Committee in the Burmese Parliament (Hluttaw) in Naypyidaw. The meeting took place following a personal invitation by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi MP, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chair of the Rangoon General Hospital Reinvigoration Committee, which includes representatives from Government, hospital managers, clinicians and Members of Parliament from the Government and Opposition Party.
The recommendations are summarized in a report funded by the Department of International Development as part of the UK’s support to help renovate a hospital that has offered healthcare to generations of Burmese people.
The report was led by Lord Darzi and produced by a team including clinicians, administrators and an architect, following a visit to the Hospital. The report sets out 50 recommendations that aim to:
- Establish a strong clinical vision for the hospital
- Strengthen local and regional planning
- Support the education and training of clinical staff
- Protect the historic building and modernise it to make it fit for purpose
- Identify priorities for developing and improving clinical services.
YGH is the largest hospital in Burma. It provides services in 29 specialties, through 1,800 staff, to the more than 4 million people who live in Rangoon / Yangon as well as tertiary services to patients from across the country.
I believe that YGH can be restored to its position as a leading medical institution in South East Asia, to the benefit of all of the people of our country
– Aung San Suu Kyi
Chair of the Rangoon General Hospital Reinvigoration Committee
The hospital is built around a red-brick Victorian-style building with yellow-painted trimmings that dates from 1905 and is in urgent need of maintenance and modernization. It is also extremely overcrowded, with admissions having doubled between 2008 and 2012 with no significant increase in bed numbers.
Professor the Lord Ara Darzi, Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, said: “I am delighted to have met with the Ministry of Health, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Parliamentary Committee. I am also honoured to have been asked to advise on implementing this exciting, ambitious and important project. Rangoon General Hospital has been at the centre of healthcare in Burma for over 100 years. A strong partnership between the hospital, committee, government and international partners can secure high class clinical services for the next 100 years.”
Aung San Suu Kyi said: “I am delighted that Professor Lord Darzi is supporting the work of the Parliamentary Committee and the Government to reinvigorate Rangoon General Hospital. Through collaborative efforts, I believe that YGH can be restored to its position as a leading medical institution in South East Asia, to the benefit of all of the people of our country.”
An international charity, the Rangoon General Hospital Reinvigoration Charitable Trust, has been established to support the Committee in their work through the provision of specialist knowledge and expertise.
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