Although the Guyana Government has scrapped its plans to establish a specialty hospital in Guyana, Texila University is currently conducting a feasibility study with the aim of opening a similar health institution.
Founder and President of the University, Saju Bhaskar, explained that the project was still in the very initial stages and it would take about six months before the plan could be sorted out.
According to Bhaskar, if the project comes on stream, Texila is hoping to open the hospital with an initial capacity to house 100 patients.
Once information is gathered from the feasibility study, Texila will make a decision on how to proceed.
After much time and effort had been invested into developing a specialty hospital locally, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration called off the project.
The Government of India, which was funding the project via a US$18 million Line of Credit, had indicated that it was ceasing worldwide business with the identified contractor India-based Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited, after the company was blacklisted by the World Bank until 2020 over fraud and corruption practices.
The donor country had also expressed preference for a fresh tendering process to be conducted, to select a new India-based contractor to execute the project.
The coalition Government came under fire following the announcement that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fedders Lloyd to complete the controversial project, which was left on hold after the Donald Ramotar Administration sacked and sued the first contractor, Surendra Engineering Inc, for failing to honour its obligations.
Guyana is yet to recover close to $1 billion from that company.
The APNU/AFC had justified the handpicking of Fedders Lloyd to complete the project, saying that the company was one of the original bidders in the 2012 tendering process.
It noted too that after examining the merits of the proposal and in the interest of time, it began searching for a willing partner to complete the Specialty Hospital using the remaining US$14 million. Hence, it approached Fedders Lloyd without any tendering process and the company accepted the contract to construct and fully equip what was expected to be a state-of-the-art medical facility.
However, this caused much uproar and controversy after it was revealed that the Indian company was never the second best bidder in the tendering process back in 2012, as claimed by the coalition Government.
In fact, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Opposition had stated that the company was disqualified because of certain inconsistencies in its submission to the local tender board.
Evidence obtained by the media even validated the previous Administration’s contentions, but Government maintained that Fedders Lloyd remained a valid contender.
Fedders Lloyd is said to have close ties with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who had legally represented the company back in 2012 when it claimed that it was cheated out of the contract to build the Specialty Hospital. (Devina Samaroo/Guyana Times)