No COI needed on Minister Lawrence – Minister Harmon

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, March 23, 2017

Minister of State Joseph Harmon told media operatives at today’s post-Cabinet media briefing that no investigation is necessary into Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence’s purchase of emergency drugs for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence

During the course of last week, the Transparency Institute of Guyana Incorporated (TIGI) had opined that the minister’s move to purchase emergency drugs for the premier health facility was not as transparent as it should be.

Minister Harmon explained that, “As far as I am aware, there is nothing to inquire about Minister Lawrence’s personal involvement. Minister Lawrence is the Minister of Public Health and therefore has overall responsibility for everything that happens in that sector.”

However Minister Lawrence told the media, earlier this week that instructions have been given to the Board of the GPHC to carry out an investigation into the purchase which is being seen as controversial by some.

The Minister defended the fast-tracked purchase of emergency drugs and welcomed investigations by saying that she has nothing to hide. Minister Lawrence stated that the investigations will determine whether the correct procedures were followed, whether too much or too little was ordered and all other necessary details.

Minister Lawrence added that she consulted with the management committee of the GPHC only to find that much needed and very important drugs were short at the health facility.

The $605M contract for emergency drugs was sole sourced from Ansa McAl Trading and is expected to cater to in  excess of 200 much needed drugs that are in short supply at the tertiary healthcare facility.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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