Health sector 2017 budgetary allocation approved

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A total of $21.5B was last evening approved for the Public Health Sector after examination of the estimates and expenditures.

Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton defended the budgetary allocations for a number of areas. The seven programmes of the Ministry and their allocations are as follows:

  • Policy Development and Administration – $1.710B

    Minister of Public Health, Dr George Norton

  • Disease Control – $2.025B
  • Family Health Care Services – $1.195B
  • Regional and Clinical Services – $14.685B
  • Health Sciences Education – $667.269M
  • Standards and Technical Services – $830.506M and
  • Disability and Rehabilitation Services – $375.317M

Policy Development and administration

Included in this programme is the provision for buildings, more specifically the reconstruction of the Ministry of Public Health’s Head office and the facilitation of the Government Analyst Food and Drug department. The sum of $274.5M in capital expenditure is captured in this programme’s budget. Also included is the subsidy for heart surgeries that will be offered at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation free to persons (emergency cases) requiring the surgery.

Disease control

Budgetary allocations for the infectious diseases programme administration is included and covers electricity, capacity building exercises, procurement of drugs and medical supplies. A subsidy to the Cancer Board, which is under review, is also included. For the commencement of the construction of the Mental Health unit, a sum of $68.5M has also been factored into this programme’s budget.

Family health care services

Money for this programme will go towards current expenditure for procuring of vaccines, dental supplies and contraceptives. Meanwhile under capital expenditure which caters for the purchase of furniture and medical equipment, the sum of $174.095M was approved without question by the opposition.

Regional, clinical services

Under this programme, the allocated sum of $250M has been approved for the construction of a state-of-the-art drug bond in Kingston which will accommodate cold storage.

Minister Norton will lay over the details of this project for the benefit of the opposition. Meanwhile, provision for studies and institutional strengthening is included.

Health sciences education

The completion of nursing schools’ extension, as well as the rehabilitation of others is included in the budget at a cost of $56.022M. The training and educating of nurses, Laboratory Technicians, Pharmacy Assistants and other health care workers will cost this programme a sum of $265M.

Standards and technical services

This programme’s budget facilitates the purchasing of furniture and equipment for the blood bank. These include fire alarms, laptops, fridges, cameras, and printers. The fridges purchased will be sent to Mabaruma and Bartica Regional Hospitals, and the Skeldon Hospital.

Disability, rehabilitation services

The disability and rehabilitation services will accommodate the purchase of vehicles, furniture and equipment. The programme will focus heavily on the training for health workers in this line of work.

The Opposition, in questioning the budgetary allocations for the various programmes, requested the details for drugs procured in 2016. Details requested relate to dates for published tenders, shortlisted and successful applicants for these tenders, copies of the contracts, compliances and whether these persons/agencies (contracted to procured drugs) standards are of good quality and meet what is required.

Meanwhile with regards the contract for the Sussex Street Bond, a cabinet sub-committee has recommended that the contract for its rental be amended so as to shorten the three -year period for which the facility was rented.


By: Delicia Haynes