APNU/AFC procured veterinary machine for humans at NA Hospital

…wasted millions on wrong anaesthetic machine

Government MP, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo

Day two of the 2020 Budget Debates took a sharp turn on Tuesday, when the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government was accused of sole sourcing and in the process, wasting millions to procure the wrong anaesthetic machine at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
This revelation was made by Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Vishwa Mahadeo during his contribution to the budget debates. Mahadeo revealed that the machine, which is a new one, has never been used since the former Government procured it. In fact, he explained that it cannot be used, because it is for use on animals.
“Mr Speaker, here’s a shocker; an example of how the APNU/AFC Government functioned: there was a new anaesthetic machine that was bought for millions of dollars – sole-sourced! This new anaesthetic machine has never been used, and cannot be used in the New Amsterdam Public Hospital.”
“But do you know, Mr Speaker, why it cannot be used? It cannot be used because it is an anaesthetic machine that is to be used for veterinary services – to put animals to sleep for surgical intervention!” Mahadeo informed the house.
Mahadeo explained that in total, the PPP Government inherited five anaesthetic machines, including the veterinary one. He said that four of them were not working and two were fixed by a biomedical engineer.
The other two machines are in the process of being fixed. But with the veterinary machine, he questioned what will happen to the hard-earned taxpayers’ money squandered by the former Government.
“I need the advice of the Attorney General, (as to) who is liable. The supplier, the receiver or someone else. How do the taxpayers get their monies worth? And on the other hand, as an animal activist, I say we shouldn’t treat animals badly. At the same time, we shouldn’t treat human beings like animals.”
Mahadeo also lambasted the former Government for the chronic shortage of medical supplies in hospitals under their tenure. He also hit back at statements made by the Opposition that the PPP appoints square pegs in round holes, pointing out that former Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence had no experience in healthcare.
The New Amsterdam Hospital has for some time been plagued with controversy. Last year, it was reported that Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr Samantha Kennedy was fired, although the Ministry eventually made a statement denying this.
During a recent visit to Region Six, President Dr Irfaan Ali told reporters that the operations of New Amsterdam Hospital will be investigated in light of the numerous allegations of medical malpractice made against the public health institution. (G3)