$180M budgeted for rental of storage bond; $250M for construction of new bond
$21.5B under Capital and Current Expenditures was approved for the Ministry of Public Health on Tuesday night (December 20, 2016), to complete several programs and projects during the year 2017.
Included in the Ministry’s budget is the sum of $180M for the rental of the controversial storage bond located at Sussex Street, Albouystown, Georgetown. It was initially stated that the bond will be rented at a cost of $12.5M per month.
Responding to questions from Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Dr. Frank Anthony who asked what was being stored at the facility Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton outlined a list of items being stored at the privately owned bond.
The question of what is being stored at the Sussex street facility was asked several times by opposition members since the bond rental was revealed in August. Just recently, on the night December 08, 2016, a team was mandated by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland to visit the facility and ascertain that it is in use following comments by PPP/C MP, Anil Nandlall suggesting the opposite. It was found that condoms, IDU insertion kits, umbilical cord clamps and lubricants are stored at the bond.
Additionally, as announced by the Government earlier on, it will be pursuing the construction of its own storage facility. In this regard, the Public Health Minister announced $250M was allocated for the construction of a medical storage bond at Kingston Georgetown.
He noted that this is an initial sum agreed on by his Ministry and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, implying that it can increase as the project moves along.
Norton also disclosed that the bond will be a modern facility and will include cold storage and other amenities.
It was during the consideration of the estimates that the Minister also disclosed that the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation’s bond is still being utilised to store medical supplies for the Georgetown Public Hospital.