The following is a press release from the NewGPC in relation to misleading statements made Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton, on Monday, in the National Assembly about rental of its storage facility for pharmaceutical supplies for the Ministry of Public Health and the Georgetown Hospital:
The NewGPC would like to correct several misrepresentations that are being published in the press subsequent to the erroneous statement by Minister of Public Health Dr George Norton that the Government of Guyana paid the corporation $19.2M per month for rental of its 70,000 sq ft warehouse for storage of pharmaceuticals for the Ministry of Public Health and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
The fact is that the NewGPC has been storing pharmaceuticals at its warehouse FREE OF CHARGE to the Government for more than a decade up to March 1st 2016. The corporation invested hundreds of millions into the most extensive and modern warehousing facility for the Government’s pharmaceuticals. The NEW GPC storage warehouse facility of 70,000 square feet had been provided free of cost to the GPHC and the Ministry of Health. It has the necessary equipment, staff, IT, security, certification and sanitation to comply with WHO/PAHO standards. The facility also has three separate temperature control zones for the storage of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals in addition to a separate area for the storage of controlled substances. It also has testing facilities for pharmaceuticals as well as several loading docks to handle the multiple containers that are usual in the government procurement shipment.
After the Ministry of Public Health indicated a substantive and substantial alterations in the old bidding procedure for pharmaceuticals on March 1, 2016, they approached the NewGPC to continue providing storage for pharmaceuticals for the Ministry of Public Health and the GPHC. At that point the corporation indicated it would charge the government a rate of $237/sq foot for the state of the art storage facility. At this time, contrary to the asseveration of the Minister in Parliament, the NewGPC has not received a single cent from the government for the rentals due since March 1, 2016 even though there are substantial quantities of pharmaceuticals being stored in the warehouse.
There have also been references attributed to Government officials about a “previous” rental agreement . This is totally false: NewGPC always provided its warehouse free of charge.
The NewGPC, as a professional company that prides itself as one of the most modern in its field in the Caribbean, simply wishes to clarify the false and ambitious statements being circulated.