… but spends less than half of that on healthcare delivery for entire of Region 4
The controversial contract between the Public Health Ministry and Alliance For Change financier, Larry Singh’s Linden Holding Inc, on Friday for the second day running, attracted the attention of the National Assembly and the nation heard that Government is in fact spending more on that contract in one year than it spends for the entire budget for healthcare services in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo dropped the bombshell announcement – an announcement that was not formally challenged by Government speakers – that while Government has inked a contract to pay Linden Holdings Inc, the 2017 Budget has in its allocations $88 million for healthcare delivery services for Region Four.
According to Jagdeo, Government has in fact opted to spend twice as much to store condoms in the Sussex Street, Georgetown facility owned by Singh.
He told the House that a perusal of the estimates revealed too that the entire Budget for education delivery in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) is set at a meagre $97 million as against the $170 million Government has earmarked to pay Singh for the storage of materials at the substandard Sussex Street property.
Jagdeo recalled that Government had defended the decision to secure the bond by handpicking Singh through the sole sourcing method by pointing to the emergency demands at the time, saying it was urgently needed.
According to Jagdeo, in one year, Government is paying close to $170 million for effectively a bottom house, saying, “remember they say we could not wait, had to get it done immediately because the drugs spoiling, the condoms spoiling.”
“We are spending $170 million to this individual,” Jagdeo said as he juxtaposed that with the healthcare delivery service Capital Budget for Region Four being only $88.8 million.
“You are spending twice as much on a bond to store condoms than that of entire health services budget for Region Four,” he reiterated.
The Opposition Leader noted too that, “We are spending almost as much on this bond as the entire Capital Budget for Region Eight [Potaro-Siparuni],” which he outlined is budgeted at $206 million. “Is that not shameful?” he questioned rhetorically.
Jagdeo said the same scenario also obtains in the allocations of monies across other regions such as Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) where the entire capital projects are budgeted at $228 million.
“The fiscal space was all eaten up on greed and falsehood and lack of transparency in procurement,” according to Jagdeo, as he responded to Government’s claims that finances are scare. (Guyana Times)