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Govt signs deal to continue building Specialty Hospital

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan (left) and Fedders Lloyd’s representative, Ajay Jha, signing the Memorandum of Understanding to build the Specialty Hospital

The Guyana government Wednesday formally agreed to go ahead with the construction of the Specialty Hospital, saying that India has persuaded it to do so.

“The Government of India (GOI) in its response, while indicating its no objection and support for the modernization of Primary Healthcare Facilities suggested that GOG should consider salvaging the Specialty Hospital, as it will complement primary healthcare facilities in Guyana.

GOG (Government of Guyana) having examined the merits of the proposal began searching for a willing partner to complete the Specialty Hospital using the remainder of the LOC (Line of Credit),” said the Finance Ministry in a statement.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fedders Lloyd that will see works restarting on the construction of the Specialty Hospital at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

No new invitation for bids has been issued and so the deal was awarded to Fedders Lloyd without passing through the Procurement and Tendering system.

Citing time constraints, the Finance Ministry said it hand-picked the Indian company, Fedders Lloyd, to continue the project. “In the interest of time, Government approached Fedders Lloyd – one of the original bidders -to explore the possibility of them completing the project. Fedders Lloyd expressed continued interest and was prepared to complete and fully equip the facility.”

Fedders Lloyd’s interests had at one time been represented by now Minister of Public Security, Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan while he and his Alliance For Change (AFC) had been in the political opposition.

Fedders Lloyd had been sending one of its senior officials, Ajay Jha, to Guyana frequently during the last administration and this one to lobby for the deal to build the facility at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

“Fedders Lloyd in entering this MOU with the Government of Guyana (GOG) will review the works already started; conclude a design of the Hospital that is acceptable to the GOG; and commit to fully equip the facility on completion of its construction. Fedders Lloyd also undertakes to commence work on the facility immediately following the signing of the MOU,” said the ministry.

Work on the Specialty Hospital was halted after allegations of impropriety and fraud were leveled against the contractor who won the bid for its construction in 2012.

The then government terminated the contract and proceeded to Court to seek remedies. The Court ruled in favour of Government and the construction of the facility came to a standstill. The future of the Line of Credit (LOC) was threatened.

The Finance Ministry explained that following the APNU+AFC government’s accession to office, it reviewed the project and concluded that since there was no existing contract that could be enforced, it was impractical to continue to keep the LOC in its existing form, especially since it was attracting commitment fees.

Government therefore requested EXIM Bank of India to cancel the LOC for the Specialty Hospital and to reallocate the balance of funds to a project to modernize three Primary Healthcare Facilities.

At a simple signing today, Minister Jordan said, “The signing of the MOU represents a tangible expression of Fedders Lloyd interest and commitment to move the project forward.”

He added that, “The MOU is also testament to Government’s commitment to advancing health care delivery in Guyana.”

He also restated the Government of India’s approval of an additional LOC for the upgrade and modernizing of Suddie and Bartica hospitals and the West Demerara Regional Hospital.

Signing on behalf of Fedders Lloyd was Mr. Ajay Jha.

He thanked the GOG for the opportunity to work on the project, but more especially, to work Guyana.

He further remarked that, “The Specialty hospital will be a model not only for Guyana but the rest of the Caribbean.”

The Specialty Hospital is intended to cater for high risk surgeries and other health care demands.