(Reprinted from Guyana Times)
In light of the plans and programmes being undertaken by the respective Ministers in the education and health sectors in Guyana, past Ministers of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration have slammed the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, accusing it of stealing what they had already begun to develop during their years in office.
Former Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, during his Budget debate speech, explained that the current Government has been boasting about its plans for the advancement of Guyana, but what it was intentionally doing was misleading persons into believing that the PPP/C has left the country in a state necessitating urgent reformation.
Dr Ramsaran said that in no way was the PPP/C upset that the Government has been employing that Party’s strategies in addressing issues within the mentioned sectors, since it was concerned about the welfare of Guyana, but it was alarmed that the Government has not been able to alter the documents in any way which would fundamentally enhance and develop the sectors.
“We are happy that you’re stealing this, but, at the same time, we’re saddened by the fact they’re not developing or adding to it,” he said.
In backing up his claims, the PPP MP highlighted the Health Vision 2020 document which Health Minister, Dr George Norton had announced that the current Administration would embark on implementing.
According to him, last year Dr Norton had said that the Government was already implementing the Vision, insinuating that the initiative was the coalition’s invention. However, Dr Ramsaran pointed out that the document had been rolled out in 2013 by the PPP/C.
Additionally, he mentioned that the former Education Minister, Priya Manickchand had also reported that when she analysed the APNU/AFC approach to the education sector, she found that it had been completely plagiarised from her Ministry’s plans and programmes.
During Manickchand’s speech on Thursday in Parliament, she had also underlined that the Government had not taken a fresh approach.
“How can this be a fresh approach if so many programmes listed in the budget are a repetition of what we had two years ago? We had announced it in this House two years ago; we negotiated the money for these programmes,” she outlined.
She also informed the National Assembly that there have been complaints about the things that were left out of the programmes, causing disruptions in the initial idea. This, she said, was a result of “copying” only part of the programme.
Manickchand has early disclosed this to Guyana Times during an interview when she said “the fact all their programmes and plans for the sector this year have been plagiarised from the PPP’s plan and program is a loud admission that they mislead people when they said both that the system was in crisis and that they had better answers”. She was at the time commenting on the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the education sector.
Manickchand and Dr Ramsaran shared the opinion that this move by the Government vindicated that the PPP/C had been doing what was best for the country, contradicting the rhetoric of the APNU/AFC Government that the Party had left the country in devastation.
Health Vision 2020 was launched in 2013 by the then Minister Dr Ramsaran; Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud and then President Donald Ramotar, with the aim of developing the local health sector over the 2013-2020 period.
The mission of the strategy included making Guyanese people the healthiest in the Caribbean and improving the availability of medical services to the public.