Govt ministers seeking medical treatment in Ireland

Last Updated on Friday, 16 June 2017, 16:00 by Denis Chabrol

Guyana government ministers have been flying out to Ireland for medical treatment, even as a health insurance policy being finalised, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said Friday.

“Ministers have sought permission to travel to Ireland for medical treatment and so far those bills are dealt with by the Ministers themselves,” he told a news conference.

Harmon said government and an insurance company are in an advanced stage of negotiations for a medical insurance policy that would take care of those matters in the future.

The State Minister said the ministers were seeking the best possible medical facilities, hence their decision to go to Ireland instead of the Caribbean or North America. “In the opinion of the ministers who have gone, that is where they can get the best treatment for whatever the ailment,” he said.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic-led government under the Donald Ramotar presidency had come under sharp criticism for providing medical assistance to a number of persons including senior party/ government officials.

However, Ramotar Friday afternoon shied away from criticising the coalition government ministers for seeking medical treatment overseas. “I believe that when people are ill they need to have treatment and if they serve at that level in the government I believe they need to get the best assistance that they can get,” he said.

Arguing that life is the “most important asset” that a person has, Ramotar said he has never used the provision of medical assistance as a “political tool to fight” with the People’s National Congress Reform.

The PPPC-led administration had also provided assistance to a number of PNCR persons including former Opposition Leader, Robert Corbin.