Govt probing purchase of suspected refurbished CT machine for US$1M by APNU/AFC
– 10 other machines to be installed countrywide over 3-year period
The National Assembly on Monday heard that an investigation has been launched into the purchase of what it suspects is a refurbished CT scan machine for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for almost US$1 million, which is double the market price.
Questions were on Monday put to Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, on the availability of Computerised Tomography (CT) scans for the Linden hospital. When he took the floor to respond to the Opposition’s questions, however, Anthony also revealed that an investigation is underway into the purchase of a CT scan machine at the GPHC.
He also revealed that not only was the machine purchased at an inflated sum, since the average price for such a machine is approximately US$500,000 but there are even doubts about whether the machine is a new one.
“At the Georgetown Hospital, a CT scan was purchased and was subsequently installed. That one right now, we’re going through some investigations with that. We’re not sure whether it was a refurbished machine.”
“And again, the price is far more than what a CT scan of that nature costs. We paid close to US$1 million, when the scan is probably about US$500,000. So right now, we’re doing an investigation into that,” Anthony further revealed.
When it comes to the Linden Hospital Complex, the Minister assured that the facility is earmarked for a CT scan machine. In fact, he said that the Government plans to install at least 10 such machines in different hospitals across the country.
“I must say that over the next three years, the Government is committed to, at least, installing about 10 different CT machines in different hospitals across the country. Already, we have given out contracts with the new hospitals that we’re building. Included in the new hospitals are imaging equipment such as CT scans.”
He acknowledged that CT scans are not currently available at the Linden hospital, since to date there are only three CT scan machines in the country for public hospitals – one at GPHC, and two others at Bartica and New Amsterdam Hospitals.
According to the Minister, the latter two were donated to Guyana by the non-profit organisation RAD-AID International in 2016 under the previous A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government.
While the Government procures its CT scans for the Linden Hospital and other hospitals across the country, the Health Minister noted that persons will be able to access CT scans from GPHC free of cost, “once there is a need for it.”
Meanwhile, Dr Anthony highlighted that there are three biomedical analysers at the Linden hospital. In terms of the staff complement, Anthony revealed that there are 16 doctors, 130 registered nurses, and 110 nursing assistants at the Linden Hospital complex.
There are also 13 specialists, two obstetricians/gynaecologists, two internal medicine specialists, two paediatricians, two surgeons, two orthopaedic surgeons, one anaesthesiologist, one intensivist, and one radiologist.