Home News The crazy, stupid, incompetent things that the previous Govt ought to regret
All of us in government wish at one time or another we have a redo so that the things that now embarrass us could be remedied. What I have seen in the past few months tell me that, if the previous government had any conscience, there are so many things it must be wishing it can have a redo for. It is really astounding the number of incompetent, corrupt and simply unexplainable things the David Granger-led APNU+AFC Government did. While some of these things are plain incompetence, a large number of them were driven by corrupt motivation. Some of the things I have seen should really make every Guyanese upset, cringe with anger, no matter which side of the political fence we sit.
Take an autoclave that was bought for Region 2. The brand new autoclave was bought and has been sitting in the store room in Suddie Hospital since 2018. It is unusable in Region 2 because it requires a 50 cycle electricity system. Region 2 electricity is 60 cycles. It can be adapted for use, but the cost of adaptation to make it usable is more than a new autoclave would cost. But there are other regions that could use the autoclave. Instead of arrangements to switch to another region, the equipment has been left to rust in that Region. The present RHO has been making new arrangements to switch the autoclave with another Region in exchange for something they can use in Region 2.
In Region 6, the government procured in 2019, anesthesia equipment for New Amsterdam Hospital that are for use in animal surgery. It shows that the catalyst for procurement was never to meet the needs of the people, rather it was intended as simply another procurement to permit graft. There are many such examples that occurred in the last five years. Last week I visited Region 6. On Friday last, after two years, X-Ray service returned to the New Amsterdam Hospital. It was not because a new X-Ray machine was commissioned; it was because the old manual processing X-Ray machine which was dismantled in 2018 was re-installed. In 2018, this old machine was dismantled because someone leased a digital X-Ray machine. No one appears to know who leased the digital X-ray machine. The Ministry of Health denies any knowledge of the leasing arrangements. The present REO of Region 6 insists there is no record that the Region leased any equipment. But since it was placed at the New Amsterdam Hospital, it has never worked. The leasing company conceded last week the machine must have had a manufacturer’s fault and they have now removed the X-Ray machine. It took two years for this to be concluded.
An ambulance in Region 6 has not been in use for two years because it needed two tires. Another ambulance was used as storage because the Region’s previous RHO decided he needed more storage space. A pick-up truck that appears fairly new has been sitting around because of minor repairs it needs so long that bush started to grow in it. In fact, the compound of the Public Health Department in New Amsterdam has become a storage site for vehicles which are not working, all of which are sitting around because of minor repairs. The new RHO has been trying to get all of them working again and put in use. In the meanwhile, large parts of the public health buildings in New Amsterdam had become merely storage sites for old, decrepit and non-usable things that were procured in the last five years, for reasons no one can explain.
At the Ministry of Health Warehouse in Diamond, almost $1B worth of expired goods accumulated there just this year and more than $3B in the last five years. Worse, the Ministry accumulated and occupied valuable space in the warehouse with unusable supplies and equipment. Some of these were bought, some were donated. There was a clear donation policy in the MOH before 2015 which sought to prevent unusable supplies and equipment from coming into the country. These are just a few things that cause one to cringe and wonder how could persons be so incompetent that these things could happen so frequently.
There are X-ray machines that have been in the system for several years, still awaiting installation. There are five times more chemistry and hematology analyzers across the public health sector than existed five years ago. On the surface this is a good thing. Someone seem to have built a better laboratory capacity in the country. But the public sector goes through long periods of time without being able to do a single chemistry or hematology test at certain hospitals. Skeldon Hospital. for example, did not do a single chemistry test since December 2019 until two weeks ago. As COVID-19 attacked us, we were not able to put all the PCR machines into operation because we never bothered to have bio-safety cabinets installed. I am certain that in the next five years some things that defy explanation would happen. But I hope when they do they are few and far in between. The sad truth is that in the last five years these things that make us cringe happened too often.