The second day of the Budget 2019 debates kicked-off on Tuesday with Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Frank Anthony lambasting the Government for the current state of the Public Health Sector.
The MP condemned what he deemed a “failed system” and urged Government to match their rhetoric with actions.
According to Anthony, in the three years since the APNU/AFC coalition Government took office, drug shortages at Guyana’s medical institutions, coupled with several other pressing matters, has become a norm.
“In just three years, failed Public Health system, long waiting times at clinic for surgeries, unavailability of tests, shortage of drugs…admission at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is like a lottery, patients have to hope that when they get sick and go there is a bed. People have to wait in the accident and emergency unit for days to get a bed in the wards. Honourable members on that side will not know of the conditions of some of our hospitals because they do not utilize the facilities that we have here” the Minister chastised.
Further, Dr Anthony argued that Government in its bid to keep Guyanese blind recently announced that a shortage of tuberculosis (TB) drugs has since been rectified but however failed to explain how such a shortage came about in the first place.
“Jordan speaking on tuberculosis pointed out an increase in the incident of multi drug resistance…what was not explained is why multiple drug resistance TB is in Guyana. This is developed because of program failures, no drugs, poor compliance, and patients’ poverty…MP John Adams yesterday said that there is no shortage of TB drugs when those drugs only arrived in this country from global facility recently… they are stifling the truth; stop playing with the lives of people in this this country…shortage will kill people” the MP condemned.
Government in a statement after procuring the drugs had blamed the shortage on a delay, revealing that the said drugs are sourced from South Korea, Japan India and Cyprus, through the Global Drug Facility (GDF).
Meanwhile, touching on the recently observed World Aids Days, Dr Anthony, posited that under the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) tremendous strides have been made in Guyana to fight the said illness.
He however argued that currently, Government is failing to implement effective ways of fighting the disease in Guyana.
“I urge the Government to urgently implement more effective ways of fighting this disease… they need to be committed to treating all…we were told that 8200 people living with aids and currently 2963 are left without medication… match rhetoric with action I urge this government!” the former ministry said.
Further, it was revealed that some 60,000 Guyanese are diabetic patients, an illness which could be helped with the aid of a glucometer.
A glucometer, also known as a glucose meter or blood glucose monitoring device, is a home measurement system you can use to test the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood.
As such, Dr Anthony noted that monies wasted on the Sussex Street bond could have procured some 65,000 glucometers.
“A glucometer cost $85,000, if we take the money wasted on that Sussex street bond we could’ve already bought 65,000 and give it to these patients…” the MP revealed.
Amidst loud heckling, Anthony continued his lambasting and noted that suicide has since taken a back burner in Guyana as mental health workers at this time are lacking even transportation in order to assist patients.
“Imagine workers in the Mental Health Department cannot go out and help patients because they don’t have transportation…the Public Health Sector is continuing to deteriorate in this country, they need to fix it”. (Kizzy Coleman)