Health Minister blasts APNU+AFC over shortage of drugs, incomplete projects in budget debate speech

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Describing the 2021 National Budget as a “vision of hope for Guyanese”, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony on Monday called out the former APNU+AFC government over what he said was its less than stellar performance in the health sector.

Dr. Anthony, who was at the time making his presentation during the ongoing budget debates in the National Assembly, said the coalition left the health sector in shambles.

Dr. Anthony said he took over management of a health sector that was plagued by medication stockouts and several incomplete projects in August 2020.

He said the government had to rush to do emergency procurement to avert a crisis and the $7 billion allocation in the 2021 budget will help to stabilize the situation.

Turning his attention to the incomplete projects left by the APNU+AFC, Dr. Anthony singled out the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.

Dr. Anthony said after $1 billion spent, the PPP/C had to make the facility operable with the necessary staff and equipment. Between September 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021, some 700 patients have been treated for COVID-19 related issues at the facility.

Other incomplete projects include the Ruimveldt Poly Clinic and the Ministry of Health head office which Dr. Anthony said was substantially delayed and above budget.

“The headquarters is a clear case of mismanagement and corruption,” he said pointing out that after commencing in 2017 at the tune of $3654 million and set to be completed in one year, the building still remains incomplete with over 80% of the cost already paid to the contractor.

Dr. Anthony said there were several other projects which the PPP/C is now saddled with cleaning up and completing.

The Minister’s comments were picked up by the speaker that spoke after him, Opposition Member of Parliament, Cathy Hughes.

 

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