Last Updated on Tuesday, 6 June 2017, 20:21 by Denis Chabrol
The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Tuesday removed all of its medical supplies from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (NGPC) bond, leaving behind a GYD$50 million debt.
Multiple high-level sources initially could not say what the reason behind the decision was and who exactly gave the directive for the drugs to be removed from NGPC’s bond at Industrial Site, Ruimveldt.
“I am not aware and you will have to check with management,” GPHC spokeswoman, Mitsy Campbell told Demerara Waves Online News.
Ministry of Health spokesman, Terrence Esseboom subsequently said the drugs were expired and the move to clear out the GPHC stocks is aimed at cutting expenses.
“Those drugs were expired for many many years since (Dr. Leslie Ramsammy) was Minister (of Health). I think the rental is prohibitive so I think outside of the expiry of drugs, part of the steps could be cost-cutting,” Esseboom told Demerara Waves Online News.
The monthly rental is just about GYD$9 million.
When Demerara Waves Online News visited the NGPC Bond, one truck was being loaded with medical supplies while several others were in the compound waiting to be loaded. Sources said not all of the drugs stored there were produced or purchased from NGPC.
Sources said some of the supplies were being taken to the Larry Singh-owned bond on Sussex Street, Albouystown, Georgetown, the Materials Management Unit (MMU) facility at Diamond and a bond at Kingston, Georgetown.
The Larry Singh bond is being rented to the Ministry of Health in what some regard as a sweetheart deal.
From observations, it appears that the cardboard boxes of bandages and other items will likely be soaked whenever there is heavy rainfall because of broken and defective windows to the north-east and northern side of the concrete building.
Well-placed sources told Demerara Waves that the GPHC now owes NGPC GYD$50,811,872 (Value Added Tax included) for storage of the supplies from January to June, 2017. The corporation, according to sources, has already paid off similar debts for last year.
Last month, the Pan American Health Organisaton/ World Health Organisation began auditing the procurement process at the Ministry of Public Health and the state-run Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Professor Jaime Espin Balbino of the Andalusian School of Public Health, Regional Ministry of Health was spearheading the forensic exercise.