“Persons caught pilfering drugs will be jailed for a long time” – Minister Lawrence

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, January 25, 2018

Persons caught pilfering drugs from the country’s public hospitals will be jailed. Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence made this pronouncement today at the contract signing for the New Amsterdam Hospital’s new maternity ward.

Minister Lawrence addressing the gathering. ((Photo curtesy Aubrey Odle)

The minister told the gathering that perpetrators will be jailed for a very long time as the situation has become unmanageable and is costing the government large sums of money.

“We just keep buying and buying and it seems as though there’s a black hole somewhere that they are falling into. Yes, I do think about the investment that we’re losing but I also think of those poor brothers and sisters who will have to go without their medication because they turned up here and were told ‘we do not have any’. Unlike many of us, they don’t have anywhere else to go or anyone else to turn to,” Minister Lawrence explained.

For years the New Amsterdam Hospital has been plagued with drug shortages, which has been directly linked to the suspected pilfering of medicines.

The Public Health Minister called on employees of the public healthcare institutions to be alert and report any suspicious activities, even as efforts are in place to provide new equipment and structures to boost the delivery of services. “I want to assure all of you that these matters will be addressed. So, I’m going to ask you to be vigilant, we’re all in this thing together.”

The government has allotted $33.3B in its 2018 budget, seven percent more than in 2017, to modernise and transform the health sector. From this amount, over $2.2B will be spent on drugs and medical supplies for hospital and health centres across the country.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

 

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