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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said that the APNU+AFC so damaged the country’s health sector while it was in Office that the PPP/C will have to invest in a complete turnaround of the sector to ensure that Guyanese are afforded equal access to the best quality health care.
At the final day of the 2021 Budget Debate, Dr. Anthony touted the financial document as crucial to making the turnaround. He also delved into the missteps his Administration believes were made by the APNU+AFC during its tenure.
Some of these he listed as drug shortages, lack of adequate infrastructure, lack of ambulances. The Health Minister claimed that drugs and other supplies were not purchased since 2018 and more than $1B worth of drugs purchased had expired. He said that the PPP/C Government resorted to emergency procurement to meet the immediate needs and with Budget 2021 allocating over $7B to the same, the situation can be stabilised.
Added to this, he said that the APNU+AFC left behind a number of incomplete projects such as the over $1B Infectious Disease Hospital, the $260M Ruimveldt Polyclinic and the $365M Ministry of Health headquarters, the latter of which commenced in 2017.
“These problems are systemic and while some progress has been made, it would require a lot more work to permanently correct the deficiencies and the damage done by the APNU+AFC,” the Health Minister told the House.
Under the PPP/C he said that Guyanese can expect the reopening of the Diamond SMART hospital; the completion of the Leonora, Mabaruma and Lethem Hospitals; the completion of the Health sector at Paramakatoi; a new maternity home at Lethem and a new maternity ward at the New Amsterdam Hospital; new maternity waiting homes at Kato and Moruca and more.
He also promised the improvement of the pediatric-cardiac programme at the Georgetown Public Hospital, the reduction of the backlog of persons waiting for surgery, the reduction of the burden of infectious diseases, and successfully execute its national COVID-19 plan.
Altogether, Dr. Anthony said that Guyanese are relieved that the economy is “back in safe hands” and that Budget 2021 represents their interest.
In general, he also “Look around you! The country has moved on, the people are moving on. Many of them feel betrayed by their leaders, false narratives, the ugly attempts to subvert the Constitution, the bizarre attempts to ‘Mingo’ the election,” he told the House.
“People don’t believe you, people don’t trust you people are ashamed of you, that is why people are keeping their social distance from you.” In Budget 2021, $53.5 billion has been budgeted for the public health sector.