Dr Frank Anthony raps Gov’t about health sector failures


As the 2019 budget debates continue, Opposition spokesperson on Health, Dr Frank Anthony Tuesday morning lambasted the Coalition Government for several flaws in the country’s health system.

However, he was called out by Government Parliamentarian, Charrandas Persaud who reminded of the shortcomings of the former People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration.

In a passionate 35-minute long presentation, Dr Anithony strongly opposed budget 2019.

He claimed there is no value for money being expended in the sector, and there is an increased in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and massive drug shortages.

Dr Anthony contended that millions of dollars were paid for drugs that were not delivered.

“So don’t come here and pretend that there aren’t shortages…we know differently, and more so what is important, the patients know differently,” Dr Anthony stated.

He further lambasted the Government for single-sourcing and he even alleged that some drug importers are unregistered.

He reiterated his demand for a list of the drug importers that are licensed and registered by the Food and Drug Administration in the National Assembly. Dr Anthony pointed out that he made this request last year but yet no such document was provided.

The Parliamentarian also called out the Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence for the storage of medical supplies at the Ocean View International Hotel.

Dr Anthony, who is a former minister under the PPP/C administration, questioned how much was spent to store the drugs at the hotel, and demanded that Minister Lawrence tell the National Assembly.

But Government Parliamentarian, Charandass Persaud, the subsequent debater, reminded of the shortcomings under the previous administration.

He claimed that sole-sourcing was prevalent under the previous administration, where friends of the then president Bharrat Jagdeo received millions of dollars from contracts granted in the health sector.

In boasting of Government’s progress in Region Six, the parliamentarian lauded the move to construct a maternity ward at the New Amsterdam Hospital.

Lamenting that pregnant women would be sharing beds at the hospital, the Parliamentarian questioned why under 23 years of the PPP/C’s tenure, they did not see it fit to embark on such a project.

Some $35.9B was allocated for the country’s health sector in budget 2019, which totalled $300.7B.

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