Gov’t pulls plug on Specialty Hospital

6

By Fareeza Haniff

The site of the multi - million dollar Specialty Hospital
The site of the multi – million dollar Specialty Hospital

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has revealed that cabinet decided to use the money allocated for the construction of Guyana’s first Specialty Hospital for the improvement of primary health care across the country.

At a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, June 17, at the Ministry of Presidency, Minister Harmon could not say definitively if the APNU+AFC government has abandoned the project, which commenced under the previous administration; however he explained that a consultancy firm will be tasked with compiling a comprehensive report on the status of the hospital, after which a decision will be made on the way forward.

According to Harmon, government is looking to use the US$14M balance of the US$18M loan from Exim Bank to improve health care at other hospitals in Guyana.

“The current thinking of the administration is that once those sums of money are available, that it will prefer that the monies be spent in other areas that has to do with primary health care…We believe that the delivery of health care services to the people is much more important in this stage of our development than what we call medical tourism,” Harmon told the news conference.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

While in the Opposition, the APNU+AFC were never in support of the Specialty Hospital, by voting against its funding in the National Assembly.

In September 2014, former Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon had revealed that construction at the Hospital at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown was halted after a major fraud was uncovered.

He told reporters that that the move to suspend construction on the facility resulted widely from the delay in timelines and inadequate accountability for public funds by the contracting firm – Surendra Engineering Company Ltd (SECL) out of India.

He claimed that SECL had issued to the Guyana Government a forged document purporting to have emanated from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).

At that time, the PPP government promised to pursue criminal charges against the company to recover unaccounted public funds to the tune of US$4 million which was given to the company.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Bibi: “However if the specialty hospital building is close to completion it should be put to usage by using it as an expansion for the University of Guyana for research and development of various illnesses affecting the nation.”

    Response: Construction work on the hospital is waiting for a green light!

  2. It is a great idea by Minister Harmon to improve primary health care services through the country as currently they are deplorable and nurses and administrative staff need continuing education training. However if the specialty hospital building is close to completion it should be put to usage by using it as an expansion for the University of Guyana for research and development of various illnesses affecting the nation.For example coronary problems, the lung, asthma, cholesterol, diabetics, etc. It should be tied in with health science and nutrition department. Patients can still be seen as it will be used as a teaching facility. We have lots of expert doctors, academic and medical here and abroad that can initiate this program primarily for the training and development of the young scholars in the science/medical field. Doctors without borders can perform surgeries, and other reputable medical doctor organizations that render their services freely. The alignment with Cuba medical doctors and other medical scholars throughout the world can be attracted to this facility to teach, serve and research. However, not pharmaceutical companies.

    Providing opportunities for the expansion of science and technology can help the nation to be on par with developed nations. Guyana is suffering a brain drain, where people are taking flight to countries for a better life for their families. This is the opportune time for this new democratic government to cease the opportunity to create opportunities for scholars to return home and to develop others in a safe and stable democratic society to share and re build the country in the science field. Developing areas for economic growth can attract high level Guyanese scholars back to Guyana and others experts and scholars to give their time freely or be financially compensated.

    We need to upgrade our health care medical facilities with the best trained practitioners.

  3. I agree at redirecting the fund but not for primary health care.
    A cardiac department at the GPHC would make more sense since many Guyanese are afflicted with coronary problems.
    I still believe that the GPHC should have a renal failure department and MIR.
    I will have more to say on this.

  4. I still think this coalition government should depose Ashni Singh and have him explain what he did with the GY$29m he took from the emergency-only Contingencies Fund after Parliament was dissolved in preparation for the 2011?
    In April 2012, he asked Parliament to replenish the sum to the Fund, but when asked what the money was spent on, he said preparation of the Specialty Hospital foundation.
    Kaietuer News sent a lens man to take a picture of the foundation work done and the published picture showed a cow pasture filled with grass.
    To this day, the Contingencies Fund is missing that money, and no receipts were tendered to Parliament for work done. WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO? ASHNI KNOWS!

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