Health Ministry to say goodbye to Sussex Street bond soon
Minister of Public Health, Minister Volda Lawrence
Minister of Public Health, Minister Volda Lawrence

THE Public Health Ministry will continue to use the Sussex Street drug bond for at least another two months, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence informed the Parliamentary Committee of Supply during the just concluded consideration of the estimates of Budget 2018.

It was while being grilled on the $2.1B allocation to the Public Health sector that Minister Lawrence disclosed that the Sussex Street drug bond will be rented in 2018 at a fee of $12.5M for at least two months.
It was People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Members of Parliament Dr. Bheri Ramsaran and Vishwa Mahadeo, who had questioned the public health minister on Line Item 6241 – Rental of Buildings — in which $180.3M was allocated – $300,000 more than 2017.

In responding to the MPs, Minister Lawrence explained that the budgeted sum caters for the rental of four buildings – one for the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at a rate of $25,000 per month, a building in Queenstown for displaced staff from a health facility at Liliendaal at a fee of $1.5M per month, another building for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Secretariat for the Maternal and Child Health Programme at an estimated $1.5 million, and Sussex Street drug bond at $12.5M per month. Negotiations for the building to house the IDB Secretariat for the Maternal and Child Health Programme, are continuing.

The minister further explained that it was the Public Health Ministry’s intention to bring the contract for the rental of the Sussex Street drug bond to an end by December 31, 2017; however, it is housing a CT scan for the Bartica Regional Hospital.

“As we speak right now, it seems as though we will go over for another two months, because we are storing the CT-scan for Bartica there and that place, as I mentioned in the debate, that is being put together to house the CT scan is about 55 per cent completed,” she explained.

The minister noted that the Non-Governmental Organisation that gave the Ministry two CT-scans for Bartica and another for New Amsterdam has requested to have their technical people install the machine. The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is also storing drugs and medical supplies at the drug bond.

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