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PNC is corrupt, kleptocratic, and too dangerous for Guyana

Dear Editor
Perusing the list of delinquent public officials who failed to make an integrity declaration of information of public importance, as per the Integrity Act, No. 20 of 1997, one finds an obscure name on that list: MR MAX MOHAMMED, who is given the designation of Technical Advisor on Oil and Gas to the President.
Who is Max Mohammed? In 1985, a man named Robert Gangadeen, with financial support from the United States and allegedly with connections to some Washington DC types, formed a pro-American political party called the United Republican Party (URP). He later joined forces with another political party – the Guyana People’s Party (GPP) β€” also funded from similar sources in the Washington DC area, and connected to rogue military groups aligned to people close to the group that fronted for one Colonel (Rtd) Oliver North. The common theme of these fringe political parties was stance against communism and socialism, and their commitment to deny a potential PPP Government the right to assume office in the 1990 elections. Leslie Ramsammy and his National Republican Party (NRP) later joined this group. Mr Robert Gangadeen died, Max Mohammed was pushed out, and Leslie Ramsammy won the leadership of the now combined force called the URP, which continues to secure its funding from this anti-communist, right-wing extremist outfit in Washington DC.
As the history went, Leslie Ramsammy flipped on his donor and joined the PPP. Max Mohammed regained control of the party, and recruited one Vishnu Bandu, a real estate man from Queens who does not have the best of images in the Richmond Hill community for his business dealings. These people were also connected to Nanda K Gopaul, who later also flipped on the American funders and became a PPP Minister.
Why is this message important? The URP! The URP is today selling itself as a group of independents, but one of its principal agents sits as an advisor to President Granger. This is the vehicle the PNC-APNU is using: fund the URP as a means to capture votes that would never come to the PNC now that the AFC is political dead meat. Is this another attempt by the PNC by way of another of its incarnations – APNU, APNU+AFC, JOPP, PNC+URP and so on, playing with the people’s intelligence to trick them into diverting votes away from the PPP? Guyanese, beware of the URP; or, for that matter, any third party, because more than likely they are all being funded in some shape or form by the PNC-led coalition Government.
Fact-check situation! I have one question for the Guyana High Commissioner to London, His Excellency Hamley Case. Who was the biggest donor at the PNC fundraiser at your house for the 2015 elections? Was it not this same person Max Mohammed?
Do we understand why he has to get a US- dollar high-figure salary today? Is this the payback for the 2015 donation, and also to fund the URP?
Isn’t this model the same kind that the PNC used with Mr. Larry Singh? Donate Gy$100 million to the party and in return collect a Bond Contract that will return to you over G$425 million? All in a day’s work as a financier of the PNC… This is the PNC; corrupt, kleptocratic and dangerous for Guyana.

Lisa Ally

APNU/AFC in 5 years spent more than PPP did in 23 years, but medicines still short

Dear Editor,
Unbelievable – APNU/AFC has no plans to address the broken medicine and medical supplies disaster that Guyana faces today. Hundreds of thousands of Guyanese have suffered from the lack of availability of medicines and medical supplies and APNU/AFC has totally ignored this life and death issue in their manifesto, not a single word.
Two days ago, I met a woman struggling with her walking stick outside of the Leonora Hospital. She complained she just left the pharmacy where she was told there is no metformin, a critical medicine for diabetics. Such shortages of critical medicines and medical supplies have become daily experiences for citizens across Guyana the last five years.
Her husband died last year of kidney failure. He often could not get his medicines for high blood pressure and diabetes. They could not afford to buy their medicines from private pharmacies. This seventy-five-year-old woman explained to me she has voted in every election since 1968 for the PNC (now APNU/AFC). She decided not to vote this year.
Not finding any reference under health sector in the APNU/AFC manifesto, I looked under disaster management for proposals regarding the procurement, storage, distribution, the overall supply chain in the health sector because medicine and medical supply in the public health sector over the last five years have been disastrous.
But not a word in their manifesto addressing one of the major lives and death issues facing citizens in Guyana. Medicines and medical supplies in the public health sector has been an unequivocal failure for APNU/AFC. They have been forced to acknowledge this failure. One would have thought, therefore, APNU/AFC β€˜s manifesto would address this matter frontally. Instead, APNU/AFC has totally ignored this matter, not a word on it.
APNU/AFC spent in five years as much as the PPP did in 23 years on medicines and medical supplies, $36.7B vs. $36.4B, but shortages at hospitals and health centres have become routine. Children in need of insulin must purchase from the private sector. Hypertension and diabetic patients frequently are told no medicines are available in the public sector. There have been too many instances of HIV, TB and Malaria medicine unavailability.
Operating theatres have been closed because of lack of supplies. Port Mourant Ophthalmology Center has remained largely closed for five years because cataract kits were unavailable. There have been instances of blood bag, HIV test kits shortages. Laboratory tests have often been referred to the private sector because reagents are not available. Vaccines have been in short supply. This is just a short list of the litany of medicine and medical supplies horror story over the last five years.
All three ministers – George Norton, Karen Cummings and Volda Lawrence – forced to acknowledge procurement and distribution disasters, promised to fix the problem. As elections loom, there are major shortages in the sector. What makes the shortages annoying is that APNU/AFC spent more than $36.7B in the last five years, compared to $36.4B the PPP spent in 23 years in government.
APNU/AFC β€˜s track record of squandering taxpayers’ money has no better example of squandermania than the procurement, storage and distribution of medicines and medical supplies. One of the most corrupt deals in the last five years was the drug bond scandal which started under the then Ministers, George Norton and Karen Cummings, and continued under Volda Lawrence.
An old house on Sussex Street was rented for $12.5M but was actually $15M per month because the government paid for security, air conditioning, electricity, water and VAT on behalf of the client. They expended more than $400M on this so-called drug bond and throughout the whole period, all that was stored there were expired condoms and an old CT machine.
APNU/AFC granted a number of contracts that flouted all the laws of Guyana. There is the example of an emergency order for $605 M for medicines which Guyana had procured before 2015 at a cost of about $200M and which at the International Reference Price Index at the time of the $605M procurement was $191M. As examples, GPHC paid $6,880 for Aciclovir injection when the average price was $614, and $1,175 for Cefotaxime injection, when the average price was $125, paying ten times more. Why did the government pay ten-times more for emergency supply that then arrived more than six months after?
Right at this moment, the Regions are playing β€œfollow-the-leader”. These regions are violating tender laws and have been procuring medicines for between 20 and 100 times the actual cost. There is a medicine, for example, that one can buy at the private pharmacy at a cost of $13 per pill; the Region 6 health department paid more than $300 per pill. In the auditor general’s latest report, he has documented examples after examples of overpayment for medicines.
Violation of the tendering laws, over-priced medicines and medical supplies explain why Guyana has spent five times what it used to spend on medicines and medical supplies, but receive less. In addition to the sordid procurement of medicines, a system that raises suspicion of rampant corruption, there is the total mismanagement of the warehousing of medicines and medical supplies and the collapse of the distribution system.
The international standards established at one of CARICOM’s largest medical supplies warehouse, the one located at Diamond, built by the PPP, has collapsed. The development of a full-scale dedicated GPHC warehouse which started under my term as Minister and which gradually evolved came to a halt in 2015. The money spent on the Sussex Street drug bond could have catapulted the development of the GPHC warehouse. The New Amsterdam Medical Bond has essentially collapsed. None of the other Regional Medical Storage facilities has benefitted from any investment. So where is the money, $36.7B? Something smells and it stinks all the way to Timbuktu. Yet not a word in their manifesto.

Dr Leslie Ramsammy

Health Minister says space being created at bonds

OVER $1 billion worth of expired drugs purchased before August 2020, are being dumped by the Ministry of Health.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), expired medical products can be less effective, or risky due to a change in chemical composition, or a decrease in strength. Certain expired medications are at risk of bacterial growth, and sub-potent antibiotics can fail to treat infections, leading to more serious illnesses and antibiotic resistance.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, during the Budget 2020 debates, had said that over 1.6 million items would have expired in the first eight months of this year, with some $200 million more scheduled to expire by December.

An aggregation of the expired drugs shows that close to $1 billion was wasted on expired medicine and supplies.
Minister Anthony has said that expired drugs have cost Guyanese taxpayers millions of dollars, not only for procurement, but storage as well.
β€œToday, we commenced the disposal of expired drugs we had in the bond. We are doing that for two reasons: One, it has expired, so it can no longer be used for human consumption. Therefore, we had to dump it,” Dr. Anthony said.

β€œIn addition to that, the expired drugs have been cluttering up … You would know that in the past, because the bond was cluttered, the previous Government resorted to renting bond space. So, by clearing out expired drugs, we have now been able to make more space available,” said Dr. Anthony during a recent interview with the Department of Public Information.
The Health Minister, in a past report, had said that Guyana’s health sector was perhaps the most neglected sector under the former APNU+AFC Administration.

Minister Anthony was quoted by sections of the media as saying: β€œThe APNU+AFC Government did not buy medicines for the people with high blood pressure in this country; it meant that the APNU+AFC did not buy medicines for patients who had heart problems in this country; it meant that the APNU+AFC Government did not buy medicines for the diabetic patients; they did not buy medicines for the HIV patients. They did not buy medicines for TB patients, and no medicines for Malaria patients.”

The new Government, through the 2020 Budget, has taken a step towards ensuring Guyanese no longer have to risk their lives at the hands of a β€œfailing system,” Dr. Anthony said.
The Government has allocated $51.7 billion, or 15.7 per cent of the total budget to the health sector for 2020. Of this amount, $14.3 billion has been budgeted for the procurement of drugs and medical supplies, and $3.2 billion will go to the procurement of emergency drugs and medical supplies, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recognising the need for critical medical supplies, the government, in August opened bids for qualified suppliers to provide emergency medicines and supplies.

The Ministry of Health had said it is desirous of obtaining bids from qualified suppliers to supply emergency medicines and supplies, which are readily available in the country.
Those medical supplies will not only be used in the fight against COVID-19, but to also treat other diseases and ailments, which are sometimes overlooked by the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. The areas identified for supplies were pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, radiology supplies and dental supplies.

@Mitwah posted:

Rama, thanks for pointing out how the PPP had neglected the health sector and squandered the money on expired drugs.

Rama please note, in recognizing the need for critical medical supplies, the PPP has opened bids for Cronies to provide emergency medicines and supplies.

Minister of Health Dr.Frank Anthony ,have Dr. Ramsammy ,Dr.Bheri Ramsarran and Dr.Vishwa Mahadeo to assist yet they can get it right .

Looks like incompetence.

@Mitwah posted:

@Ramakant-P posted:

β€œToday, we commenced the disposal of expired drugs we had in the bond. We are doing that for two reasons: One, it has expired, so it can no longer be used for human consumption. Therefore, we had to dump it,” Dr. Anthony said.

Frank Anthony as a physician should know better.  You don't dispose of medicine by dumping it at the sdie of the road.  Some of those chemicals could actually kill people and definitely hurt the environment.  What a bunch of incompetent PPP apparachiks!

Two persons to be charged over dumping of expired medical waste

31st March 2021


Two citizens, one who whom is a doctor could be charged soon over the dumping of medical waste as well as other documents on a city street in Queenstown.

Solid Waste Director. Walter Narine said that among the persons the city constabulary and the police would be looking for is a city doctor who was evicted from the property and whose items were in the property. The owner of the property would also be charged.

β€œWe have to charge him because he was renting this property and these items belong to him, both of them (the owner) and the doctor we have to charged,” Narine said.

Narine said that it was about 7:30 on Wednesday morning when a solid waste department staffer saw the dumping and tried to stop it. He said he got involved in the matter when persons continued to dump the medical waste. β€œwhen we came here, actually the workers were dumping the stuff, ran into the yard and lock up.”

He said there the boxes contain medical waste, documents belonging to the Georgetown Public Hospital and CLICO claims with a doctor’s name on them.

Narine lamented the danger of the medical waste on the streets, β€œif they get into vagrants hands, there would be a potential disaster,” he said.

β€œAny type of medical waste, expired drugs you have at home, you call the council and we will provide a skip bin and we would collect it,” Narine said, β€œmedical waste are treated differently from household and commercial waste at the landfill, we first have to inform the landfill, they have to dig a special hole and then we have to bury it away from the pickers,” he explained.

When we spoke to the Narine, the Solid Waste Department was making arrangements to remove the medical waste.

Something is fishy !!!  documents belonging to Georgetown Public Hospital in doctors possession.

Last edited by Django
@Ramakant-P posted:

What difference does it make? I have to protect my source so long as they continue to threaten the writer, the President, VP. Ministers, and me.

And you can suspend or expel me if you want. You have been biased towards the government as long as I know you.

The admin is supposed to be neutral but you are not.

What sort of expired drugs you are on?

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