New GPC rubbishes Government’s claims on rental of Storage bond
The New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC) is opposing statements made by Minister of Public Health, George Norton that the Government paid the corporation $19.2M per month for rental of its 70,000 sqft warehouse for storage of pharmaceuticals for the Ministry and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
On Monday evening, the National Assembly approved an additional $63.541 M for the rental of buildings for the Ministry of Public Health. This money was approved during the consideration of Financial Paper No.1/2016, which sought to bring additional funding for government agencies from the Contingency Fund. It was during this time, the Health Minister said, the money was expended on the provision of rental to the New GPC for the storage of medications for the period March-June 2016, and payments to Linden Holding Company for the same purpose, along with a security deposit of $25 M. After coming under heavy questioning from the Opposition, People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC), Minister Norton told the National Assembly that the Linden Holding Company had to be contacted due to an emergency and also to cut the high cost that the Ministry encounters from renting New GPC. Linden Holding Company was recently approved by Cabinet for the purpose of pharmaceuticals’ storage.
However, in a statement today, the company said “the fact is that the New GPC has been storing pharmaceuticals at its warehouse FREE OF CHARGE to the Government for more than a decade up to March 1st2016.”
“At this time, contrary to the asseverations 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” it added.
The new facility located at Sussex Street Albouystown is unfinished but the government has already advanced $25M. It will be paying the company $12M per month.
The New GPC said its facility “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.”
The company also stated that after the cost of $237/sq foot for the state of the art storage facility was requested following an indication by the Ministry of Public Health that there was a substantive and substantial alterations in the old bidding procedure for pharmaceuticals on March 1, 2016.