UWI honoree plans new health project in Guyana

Dr Doobay with T&T Conl General Dr Tota-Maharaj at the gala

By Jasminee Sahoye


Another health care project is in the works for Guyana.

The Canadian doctor who opened a low-cost dialysis centre in Guyana more than a year ago plans to construct a building that will house other aspects of affordable health care services.

Guyana-born Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, a cardiologist, Hindu priest and philanthropist, says the new services will help to offset the cost of operating the dialysis centre.

“It’s a very expensive thing to run.  Even the governments of Canada are crying, the governments in the West Indies are crying about it…. so far, by God’s grace we have been able to dialyse nearly 40 patients.  I hope that when I’m no longer here, someone is going to continue it. We are laying the foundation, we are trying to built a hospital around it to make it sustainable.  You can’t go to the same people all the time for money, so we’re building little centres, like an eye centre, dental centre, maybe a cardiac centre to help people who can’t afford those services and from that money keep the dialysis centre going,” Dr Doobay told The Camera.

He added that he decided to open the dialysis centre after hearing that when patients with renal disease could not afford the treatment, which costs US$180 for one treatment, they had no choice but to face the inevitable.

The dialysis centre, which is managed by Vic Oudit, a cousin of Dr. Doobay, was recognized as one of the many contributions of Dr. Doobay, who received the University of the West Indies Luminary Award,  at the university’s fourth annual Toronto benefit gala last weekend.

Dr Doobay says he is honoured to be recognized by such a noble institution, an institution where he received his tertiary education in medicine.  He later served as a professor of medicine at the campus.

“I was taught and I taught there, and when I came here I used that same training to teach other students here.  They may not have been from the University of the West Indies but they were medical students also because I’m on academic staff at McMaster University.”

Asked how he feels about the UWI luminary award, Dr. Doobay said: “I feel very humble because there are so many great luminaries before me like my other colleagues and also some friends of mine and when your university honours you, it’s a very special thing.  When you go to university you don’t know if you’re going to perform well or not but when your university is honouring you not for only your professional life but also the work you do in the community, it’s very gratifying,” he said.

Dr Doobay who is the founder of the Vishnu Mandir in Richmond Hill has been instrumental in the establishment of a museum of Hindu civilization which reflects unity in diversity.

He has received several other awards including the Order of Ontario, The Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and acts as a role model for many young South Asians looking to make a contribution to their society.