Expansion works ongoing along the East Coast of Demerara Public Road are progressing well, according to Head of the Works Services Group (WSG) of the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Geoffrey Vaughn.In recent interview with Guyana Times, Vaughn explained that the ongoing works are approximately 20 to 21 per cent completed to date. He noted that currently, focus is being placed on the expansion between Better Hope and Beterverwagting (BV).“The contractors are working on the expansion half of the road, as you would realise, on both sides and we’re already started putting our sub-grades and our base materials; soon you will see paving commence in terms of those works,” he stated.Construction workers at Mon Repos on SaturdayThe WSG head noted too that works are also ongoing on the drainage system, with the drains being expanded to ensure that the elevations are correct so that the roads can be drained properly and there would not be ‘ponds of water’ when the construction works are completed.Meanwhile, Vaughn went on to say that while efforts are concentrated between Better Hope and BV, works have commenced in communities such as Mon Repos and will be moving down further the East Coast.“So, as much as there’s focus on BV and Better Hope, they’ve already commenced some preliminary works on the other areas in terms of grubbing and so forth,” he said.According to the WSG head, while the sand-filling aspect of the project was completed some over three years ago, some of it would have been contaminated over time when it was left there.“So (the contractors) would have to take off some of those sandfill and refill it, which is always necessary once you have a project of that nature, because you couldn’t leave the area open once you’ve started the expansion,” he noted.The East Coast Road expansion project, which commenced late last year, has a timeline of two years.Guyana has received a US$45.3 million concessional loan from the China EXIM (Export-Import) Bank to finance the road project and that agreement was signed in January last year.Initially, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had tried to secure financing for the road expansion project, but the money was not readily available; hence, the Administration decided to use local funds for preliminary works while it awaited the release of funds from the Chinese to complete the works.The East Coast Road Expansion Project entails a four-lane extension from Better Hope to Annandale and two-lane upgrade from Annandale to Belfield with a total length of 16,998 kilometres of roads and 33,996 kilometres of drains to be built.Apart from the road expansion, the residents were also going to benefit from the project which included improved drainage since the East Coast is usually susceptible to floods.The preliminary works for the four-lane upgrade were completed at the end of 2014. This included the widening of the roads and installation of drainage facilities. The project was divided into seven lots which were awarded to different contractors.With the China Eximbank putting up most of the finances for the road expansion, Guyana had awarded the contract to China Railway First Group for some US$42.7 million. The Chinese construction company reportedly put in the lowest bid of US$46.994 million. The PPP/C Administration had stated that it is saving some $2.8 billion by giving the contract to China Railway First Group. Upon completing the widening and improvement of the East Coast Demerara Highway, citizens travelling along the East Coast will benefit from reduced travel time and less traffic congestion.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Los Angeles Times: After Hospital Care, The Test Begins In 2011, my husband, Eric, a trial attorney, was felled by a brain stem stroke just before he was to board a flight at O’Hare in Chicago. He was just 53 years old with no prior health conditions or problems. From the outset, we knew his recovery and rehabilitation would be long and difficult. We didn’t know that his transition to post-hospital medical care would be just as challenging. I’m the dean and a professor at the Jefferson School of Nursing at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and I’m a registered nurse. I thought my training and access to resources would aid in managing my husband’s care. Instead, our experience showed me the many flaws in the world of medical “care coordination” and “transition management” (Beth Ann Swan, 5/9). The Washington Post: A More Transparent Battle With Bird Flu This variant, known as H7N9, has not reached U.S. shores, but it is a reminder of the unpredictable nature of influenza. It might cause a pandemic, or settle into a slow burn for years, or simply die out. At this stage, no one knows. The uncertainty ought to remind us of past lessons about infectious disease and globalization, which remain as urgent as ever (5/8). Journal of the American Medical Association: ACA Implementation Starts To Get RealPresident Obama spoke extensively about implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during his recent press conference, particularly about what it means for people. …The President’s comments come amid reports that the American people remain confused about how the ACA (or “Obamacare”) will work. People will come to understand much more about the law as federal, state, and private outreach campaigns kick into high gear this summer, but now may be a good time to review how different segments of the public will (and will not) be affected by the ACA (Larry Levitt, 5/8).Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Get Covered Or Run For CoverI would have been more comfortable if the Obamacare debate had centered on two other issues. One is how do we bend the cost curve? No one has been able to show how this will get done. I suspect we will crash through the 20 percent of GDP ceiling soon. Keep it up and eventually half the population will be caring for the other half. The only question is which half will be paying taxes. The other question that has been ignored is — tell me again — how does the exchange create a competitive marketplace? (Francis M. Miller, 5/8).Des Moines Register: Healthy Iowa Plan Better For Low-Income Residents I have the privilege of guiding the legislation pertaining to the Healthy Iowa Plan, the alternative to Medicaid expansion, in the Iowa House. … The Healthy Iowa Plan is a better option than Medicaid expansion at keeping low-income Iowans healthy while sustaining a thriving economy. It incentivizes members to take an active role in their own health and health plans, using modern accountability techniques, regional structures, local primary care facilities and personal reward health incentive accounts. Medicaid needs an overhaul and we all know it (State Rep. Walt Rogers, 5/7). Reuters: Putting A Price On Illness Today, the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services released a trove of seemingly basic data to the public for the first time: the prices American hospitals charge Medicare for the 100 most common inpatient procedures. … This data might make the American healthcare market a bit more transparent, but it’s still far from rational. In March, Ezra Klein noted that there’s no semblance of coherence among the prices insurers themselves pay for common procedures, devices and pills; each insurer negotiates their own pricing deals for these things with healthcare providers. Sadly, the only constant is that Americans pay far more than other countries for the same basic, relatively routine medical care — with worse outcomes (Ryan McCarthy, 5/7). New England Journal Of Medicine: Saving Specimens After SandyOn a Friday 6 months ago, a hurricane and two storms were on course to converge over New York. In preparation at the laboratory that day, we made contingency plans in case of a power outage. Three of us would come in as soon as it was safe to check the freezers and incubators. Our laboratories were on the 18th floor of the Veterans Affairs (VA) New York Harbor Healthcare System, part of the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine complex on the banks of the East River in Manhattan. Here, our group was working on the development of HIV vaccines and new diagnostic tests for tuberculosis. The news Sunday was that the confluence of the storms, a full moon, and an unusually high tide were going to result in a tidal storm surge on Monday evening (Susan Zoller-Pazner, 5/8). New England Journal Of Medicine: Improving Obesity Prevention At The Local Level – Emerging OpportunitiesThanks to a coalescence of available scientific evidence and new regulatory possibilities, there is currently substantial opportunity for local innovation in addressing the public health problem of obesity. One promising example stems from a recent federal obesity-prevention initiative: the menu-labeling provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which require chain restaurants operating 20 or more locations to provide calorie information on their menus and menu boards, along with a statement addressing daily recommended caloric intake (Sara Bleich and Lainie Rutkow, 5/9). Viewpoints: A Nurse Finds Getting Coordinated Care For Her Husband Challenging; Iowa Legislator Outlines Problems With Medicaid; Researcher’s Quest To Save Experiments After Sandy