Your Eyewitness sincerely hopes there’s nothing seriously wrong medically with President David Granger, and wishes him a long life. But his decision to have his medical check-up first done in T&T a few months ago and now his decision to go to Cuba for “follow up checks” on the symptoms highlighted in T&T, betrays his assessment of our medical capacity in Guyana. That frankly, it’s not up to snuff.
It’s now become trite to mock Guyanese politicians who fly abroad for medical interventions but it’s THEIR lives at stake – and because they have the option of seeking better medical care, it’s rational for them to make that decision! Why take chances? But the rest of the ordinary men and women in the street don’t have that option, do they? They have to line up at Georgetown Hospital – at best – or the regional hospitals – at worse – and play Russian Roulette with their lives.
But it didn’t have to be this way. When the PPP was in office, around 2013, they proposed the construction of a “Specialty Hospital” that would offer world-class medical services for the medical procedures that were beyond our medical services’ ken. The Indian Government would fund the project from a line of credit and the hospital, the PPP said, would be the start of a local “medical tourism” industry. This wouldn’t only bring in foreign currency from patients from the developed countries who’d save a bundle – but would allow the Government to subsidise the costs for local patients, on a “needs” basis!
Now who’d oppose such a venture that’s so win-win all around? The PNC and AFC in the Opposition benches, that’s who! Funny enough, one of the top bidders for the project was a client of Ramjattan – Fedders Lloyd – and it was only when the latter lost out to another company, he started his violent opposition. When he slid into Government on the PNC coattails he started lobbying for the project to be retendered but when Fedders Lloyd was eventually disqualified by the World Bank for violations committed on other projects, Ramjattan once again helped nixed the Specialty Hospital Project. Even though $42 million had been spent to prepare the site.
The Government decided to use the Indian Line of Credit to upgrade three regional hospitals – but as of today, nothing’s been done. We have therefore lost “corn and husk” – we have no Specialty Hospital with advanced medical equipment and personnel and the regional hospitals continue to languish in the era when leeched were routinely used for “bloodletting”!
And we return to the President having to fly off to Cuba for medical treatment. “It’s a shad, shad situation”.
There’s one school of thought that proposed newspapers in developing countries have a duty to support projects and policies that push a development agenda. Now whether you support this or not, (your Eyewitness doesn’t) it’s pretty hard to support – in the name of “freedom of the press” – a newspaper that literally goes out to rip down the country’s development just to satisfy their personal vendettas.
And this is where the Muckraker still hasn’t learnt the lesson from the PNC/AFC’s betrayal of all they’d preached when they were being funded by the tawdry tabloid. Take the lies and exaggerations they repeated from those days when putatively covering the suggested Berbice Bridge’s toll increases. How in the world could ANY of the private common shareholders be accused of “profiteering” from their ownership of the Bridge when they NEVER voted any dividends for themselves?? How could they “profiteer” when they have $300 million tied up, doing anything?
But the Muckraker’s boss wouldn’t recognise sacrifice for one’s country if it snuck up and bit him on his behind!!
It’s all about himself!
The Government’s CH&PA just announced they’ll be building 250 homes and extending 2000 shacks of the “poor”. Your Eyewitness knows it’s a boondoggle for its supporters.
But without jobs, they’re just widening their learned helplessness.