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Specialty Hospital project virtually crippled after opposition’s budget cut- Luncheon

specialty_works
Flash back: Offloading of sand at the Liliendaal site of the proposed Specialty Hospital

The Guyana government on Wednesday said it would be forced to scrap a US$18.1 million Specialty Hospital if no agreement is reached with the opposition to withdraw its budget cut for the project.

“The project cannot help but being off if everything-acting on the assumption that you are saying that no intervention- reverses the decision on the cut led to so if that is knocked out completely, if this decision is final, irrevocable then there are obviously logical consequences,” said Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon.

He roasted the decision by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) for using its one-seat majority to veto the GUY$1.25 billion for constructing the facility at Liliendaal.

The Head of the Presidential Secretariat hoped that the opposition would display “commonsense” and “sober thinking” in abiding by contract law in light of the fact that the opposition had last year approved financing for the project being funded by a loan from India through the EXIMBANK. He sought to blame the opposition for what could end up being a breach of contract between the Guyana government and the Indian construction company, Surendra Engineering.

“The government of Guyana entered into contractual obligations based on the 2012 unanimous support for the Specialty Hospital only to be confronted with what I describe as a troubling decision, incomprehensible decision by the AFC, supported by APNU, to cut the funding for the Specialty Hospital,” he said.

The opposition reduced the allocation to zero on grounds that government has provided insufficient answers about previous spending to local and foreign contractors.

Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsarran told the House’s Committee of Supply that geo-technical work has been completed on the site to determine the soil structure for the construction of the Specialty Hospital by, Surendra.

Ramsarran, in responding to a question from the AFC’s Khemraj Ramjattan, has declined to say whether he was aware that Surendra Engineering had little or no experience in constructing such health care facilities compared to Fedders Lloyd.

Instead, the Health Minister opted to say that the contract was awarded in a transparent manner.

The Specialty Hospital has been touted as one that would provide highly specialised surgeries and other interventions at much lower costs and would be attractive to North Americans, Europeans and patients from other parts of the world.