Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, said that he and his administration “in a very short period of time” managed to deal with the covid-19 pandemic despite the many deficiencies left by the former Government.
His comments come on the heels of a no-confidence motion filed by Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon against himself and Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn.
“We have work to do, we have lives to save, and this type of gymnastics he is engaged in, he probably has a lot of time on his hands, which we don’t have. We are seriously engaged in working to help the people,” Dr. Anthony said during an exclusive interview with They Break News.
The Health Minister stated that the motion which was filed today in the National Assembly gives his administration a “unique opportunity” for them to debate the matter and remind the Opposition Leader about the many “shortcomings” of the APNU/AFC Government while in office.
Dr. Anthony noted that the former Government would have had some of the biggest scandals in the health sector while in office.
He referenced the controversial Sussex Street Bond rental, the dumping of over $10 billion in expired medication, which was accumulated over the last five years, and a number of other scandals.
“It is a beautiful occasion for us to go back and review what they have done and what we have inherited and what we have to fix now. And despite all of those challenges they have left us, in a very short period of time, we have managed to deal with the pandemic. We have begun turning around the deficiencies they would have left in the sector.“
IMPROVEMENT IN THE SECTOR
The Health Minister noted that significant strides have been made in the Government’s fight against COVID-19.
He explained that prior to him taking office, usually, a person would have to wait 24- 48 hours to get the results of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. But the results for this test are now available within three hours.
“Through their tenure on average, they would have done 20, 21 tests per day – that is hardly enough when you are managing a pandemic. Let us just take that alone and contrast to what this Government is doing. We have now at the National Public Health Reference Lab the capacity to do more than 2000 PCR tests within a 24 hours period,” the Health Minister explained.
Dr. Anthony noted that his Ministry would have managed to procure antigen tests and have since deployed them to almost all regional hospitals and district hospitals.
He added that the Ministry has also bought a “GeneXpert Equipment” that has been deployed to all regional hospitals in the interior – which would provide the hospital with a PCR test in an hour.
“When you think about testing alone, it shows a big contrast to what they were doing, and how they were managing and how we have been able to speed up and expedite the time to testing and processing and getting people their results.”
In fact, the Health Minister revealed that Guyana didn’t have any standardized treatment for covid-19 patients, but upon taking office in August last year, the PPP/C Government “put those things together” and trained doctors to manage patients with covid.
“When we got in and look at what was there (Ocean View facility), there were so many works we had to do and operationalise the facility,” Dr. Anthony posited.