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Govt attacks media over publication of medical expenses

The Ministry of Health voices it absolute consternation at the unethical and disingenuous exposure of private medical details, concerning selected government officials. According to the ministry, certain media outlets and personnel, in taking ‘cheap shots’ for political mileage, have revealed not only their political biases, but also an insensitive and inimical culture of journalism, towards the Government of Guyana and the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).

The Ministry of Health notes that it is well established that private details, particularly those dealing with the health and finance of citizens, are not normally exposed, except under certain ‘extreme’ conditions, and even so, not in a manner to besmirch people’s character, nor negatively sway public opinion against any person or group.

It should be recalled that in May 2009, Alliance for Change (AFC) Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan did inquire about the PNCR Leader Robert Corbin’s medical expenses being offset by the government, stating that a substantial amount of taxpayers’ dollars has been spent, and that “there must be a balance between that and accountability.”

However, at the time, he was met with silence concerning the nature of Mr. Corbin’s health issues and the sum of the expense incurred.

In this vein, the Ministry of Health highlights that it is not ‘decent’ to expose these sensitive issues, as they can redound to both medical and impecunious embarrassment. However, some media operatives went this route, clearly targeting a select few from the ruling party, and in so doing have engendered unease among the family members and other concerned relatives and friends.

The Health Ministry once again condemns the behaviour of those responsible for the report, and deems their actions as ‘vendetta for no known reason.’ The Health Ministry also sees the reportage as intentionally skewed (with portions being mischievously selected), incomplete, and with ulterior and sinister motives. Also, it should be emphasised that the Ministry of Health embraces and practises a policy, to render assistance indiscriminately and in a holistic manner, depending upon the nature of the medical condition and the financial needs of those seeking to obtain same.