PPP supports cost-cutting measures by Public Health Ministry

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Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said he supports cost-cutting measures within the government however he insists that the Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence should be the last person to talk about unnecessary spending.

He was responding to the Minister’s announcement of government’s plans to cut all ties with privately owned pharmaceutical bonds, during a Press Conference on Thursday (June 08, 2017).

“Anything that will cut cost but maintain the integrity of the drugs, the PPP will support but that Minister should be the last person speaking about cutting cost,” he stated.

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Tuesday removed all of its medical supplies from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (NGPC) bond

Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence had disclosed that the administration plans to increase its dependency on its own storage facilities with the intention of reducing costs and increasing the efficiency in the distribution of medical supplies.

But Jagdeo was quick to point out that government supporter, Larry Singh is already benefitting from some $12.5M per month in rent from the government for storage of drugs and other medical supplies.

“(She) defended the renting of a bottom house for $12.5M in a corrupt transaction and now suddenly they are cutting costs,” he observed.

The Opposition Leader also noted, “This was the minister who was involved in the $605M single sourcing, not prequalified, but single sourcing contract.”

The Public Health Ministry, under both the current and previous minister, Dr George Norton, came under fire over the controversial drug bond issue and the $605M sole-sourced contract with Ansa McAl.

At a Post-Cabinet media briefing on Friday, (June 09, 2017) Minister of State, Joseph Harmon also stated that the contract with the New GPC has come to an end.

“Those pharmaceuticals which were in the bond were actually a hold over from the contract, and it was important, we felt, to ensure that we did not have anything stored there so that the company can actually bill us for rent,…for a lot of items which in fact had been expired,” Harmon said.

However, according to reports, the Government still owes the New GPC some $50M.

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