first_imgSenior employees at the Public Health Ministry were this morning warned about the presence of Police Detectives and the internal auditors from the Finance Ministry, who will soon begin investigations into the “misappropriation of funds and the blatant attempts to steal” public funds within the Health Ministry.This warning was sounded by Health Minister Volda Lawrence during a frank discourse with senior officials at the Ministry on Tuesday morning.During the internal meeting, Minister Lawrence raised questions about “blatant attempts to steal” and other brazen dishonest acts perpetrated by employees, a statement from the Ministry detailed.To this end, she noted that the Guyana Police Force and officials from the Finance Ministry will carry out open investigations into ongoing corrupt practices by staff members.Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence“Fraud has been going on a long time at the Public Health Ministry,” Lawrence pointed out. She went on to caution programme managers who appeared stunned by her revelations, adding “I am advising you to check what you sign and ensure it meets the regulatory requirements and it is in keeping with your programmes.”Moreover, the Public Health Minister said, “I will not compromise on the issue of accountability within the public health sector.”Furthermore, she did not hide her distaste for employees who have been “sabotaging the Ministry left, right and centre.”Some workers have even been sending missives on internal MoPH matters to persons outside the public service structure, Lawrence revealed. She indicated that letter writers will shortly have the opportunity to “bring the evidence” to support their claims.Less threatening but equally toxic, the Minister noted, is the issue of insubordination, which is rife among some categories of employees.“Some parts of the MoPH train have been derailed (and) the madness has to stop,” Minister Lawrence posited.This comes one day after the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday flagged officials from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) over the lack of accountability for drugs warranted to the region.Sums totalling $135 million were transferred by two interdepartmental warrants to the Public Health Ministry for the procurement of drugs and medical supplies on behalf of the region. In the case of $60 million, a financial return received indicated the full amount was expended. But the cost was not stated. In the case of a second warrant at a cost of $75 million, the administration received a ‘Nil’ financial return.This is not the first time such an issue has obtained within the Ministry.There continues to be irregularities, not only at the various regional administration levels, but within the public health sector as a whole. Several healthcare facilities, both primary and at the community-level, are plagued with drug shortages and discrepancies over its procurement process.last_img

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