Over the last 30 years, many medical professionals, particularly
doctors and nurses, have left Guyana for other countries. The government, strapped
for cash, has not made health care a priority. As a result, life expectancy is 61
years for men and 68 years for women.
Since 1993 the government has increased medical funding and is attempting to improve health care. Guyana has a number of small hospitals. It also has a two-tiered health care system. Medical care is free in Guyana, but about 12% of the population who live in the interior do not have access to any health care. Some people rely on "bush medicine", using roots, leaves, flowers, fruits or seeds of plants and herbs.
A number of diseases are prevalent in Guyana, including malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, dengue fever and typhoid. Wealthy Guyanese often seek treatment for serious problems in other countries, such as Canada