Gov’t procuring drugs from corner shop pharmacies – Edghill
May 13, 2017 , http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....-pharmacies-edghill/
– MP says corruption rampant in procurement process
Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) member of Parliament Bishop Juan Edghill says that the government is now procuring drugs from “corner shop pharmacies,” and this has led to rampant corruption within the system.
At a press conference at the opposition leader’s office yesterday, Edghill said that the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is expected to receive $8.5B this year for the procurement of drugs and medical supplies. He said that when questions were put to Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, in parliament recently, as to how much money was spent on drugs and medical supplies for 2017 to date, they were advised that $2B has been expended in the first two months of this year.
Edghill said this represents 77 percent of the budgeted sum for this financial year. According to him, while some may say this is a good sign, there has been no procurement process or public tendering, neither was there any public bidding, let alone any proper procurement system being followed.
Edghill said that these were not his pronouncements but rather, they were the findings of the IFMAS report which stated that the majority of drugs bought thus far with the $2B were bought from “corner shop pharmacies”.
Moreover he said these purchases were done without any tendering, with the reason given by government that the purchases were made for emergency supplies.
However, Edghill said that the government is “manufacturing the emergency with a motive of corruption in mind”. Further, he said that the system is being manipulated and this must stop.
Edghill said the APNU +AFC government has fallen into a state of petrifaction and the stench of corruption is “reeking to the high heavens”. He is of the view that the current countrywide drug shortage is due to the ineptitude, mismanagement and clear corruption on the part of the government.
He noted that when Minister Lawrence said that one medical staff was arrested when he was caught with insulin, and another occasion when supplies were stolen from an ambulance, that was no reason to justify the chronic drug shortage that prevails.
Edghill said that the answers provided point to a lack of disclosure and transparency, and accountability is non-existent, as the government is having a serious credibility crisis. He said for this reason, the public’s trust has been destroyed.
The APNU+AFC government, he said, came to office promising to eradicate corruption and ensure that there is transparency in the way the government’s resources are dispensed. However Edghill stated, on the contrary, the current administration is breaking all the rules with regards to the tendering process. He said that the government is awarding contracts based on pre-qualification and the requisite rules regarding this are being openly flouted.
He said that while he would want to lay all the blame at Minister Lawrence’s feet, most of it should be borne by Cabinet, who normally give their no objections to all the awarded contracts.
In the meantime, Edghill said, the government purse is being raped and pilfered, and for this reason the chairman and the board of the GPHC should resign.