By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman said he was very pleased with recently appointed APNU Member of Parliament Dr. Karen Cummings’ maiden presentation in the House which she made on Thursday, April 03.
Trotman said “a star is born”, adding that the late former Deputy Speaker Deborah Backer, who also hailed from the APNU, would have been proud to hear her.
Dr. Cummings described the National 2014 Budget as one that lacks luster and has omissions.
“It was certainly not the best financial report, in fact the cover page, notwithstanding some excerpts which appeared to be plagiarized, has shown and signaled the intention to the Guyanese populace that the future looks dismal and depressing.”
Dr. Cummings in opening her presentation opined that the Government’s budget is full of ironies, adding that the ironies put the country in a state of anxiety.
Turning her attention to the healthcare, the APNU MP said the local healthcare system is in need of rescue and recovery.
She told the House that nowhere in the 2014 budget was provision made for the improvement of socio economic status of the healthcare providers. She said healthcare workers are finding it difficult to make ends meet with the meager salaries they earn.
In this regard, she has recommended that the Government provide significant improvement of benefits to the health sector workers to enhance retention and guarantee a higher level commitment and efficiency.
On a separate note Dr. Cummings also recommended that the technical capabilities of the healthcare workers be strengthened at all levels through training and re-training with the major emphasis being placed on strengthening supervisory skills.
Also of concern was the high rate of maternal deaths, where Dr. Cummings said called for the decentralization of existing and soon to be established maternity waiting homes with trained staff to respond to the growing needs in the area of healthcare service.
She joined other member of the opposition in criticizing the administration for its continued investment in a specialty hospital. She opined that the wise thing would be to develop the already and existing tertiary level institution which will result in less cost to/for the tax payers.
Dr. Cummings called on the administration to ensure that primary care service be complemented by different levels of specialized care whether it is ambulatory or inpatient, adding that the focus should be at this time on improving the primary care system instead of a specialty hospital.
The MP also touched on issues of domestic violence, early childhood and teenage sex molestation, the procurement of ambulances and drugs along with sanitization, all of which was criticized and recommendations provided for improvement.
She concluded that Budget 2014 seeks to have the population embrace the achievement of financial goals, by clandestinely forbidding and disallowing the Guyanese people to identify wasteful expenditures.
“The Budget 2014 disregards and has neglected the working poor and vulnerable. It attempts to focus on numbers, rather than trying to have a direct impact on the quality of service being rendered.”
Dr. Cummings said the spending projected does not reflect value for money.