Govt. officials account for more than 50% of Medical assistance bills

Govt. officials account for more than 50% of Medical assistance bills

During the years 2012 to 2013, the Government of Guyana ran up a hefty bill on medical expenses for government officials and other persons.

While medical assistance was offered for some regular citizens, government officials enjoyed full payments for all types of medical expenses including dental work.

According to a document put together by the Ministry of health detailing government medical assistance, Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukai enjoyed government assistance of $2.1 million for dental work. She made a number of visits to her dentist.

Minister of Human Services Jennifer Webster now has a brighter smile thanks to the taxpayers of Guyana who forked out over $1.3 Million to cover her dental expenses.

The Prime Minister’s wife racked up charges of over $700,000 for her dental work and that too was covered by the government while her husband, Prime Minister Sam Hinds must be taking good care of his teeth since his dental bill was just over $24,000.  Over $4 Million was spent in dental work for government officials during 2012 and 2013.

The document also reveals that the government spent over $116 Million in cancer treatment for late Presidential Advisor Navin Chandarpal during the same period. Mr. Chandarpal’s bills were racked up in Trinidad and Tobago and the United States on at least four occasions.

He died from the disease in 2014.

Additionally other government officials ran up hefty bills worth over $75 Million for other medical expenses and procedures. Some of those costs were detailed and others were not.

The government spent over $4 Million for “medical intervention” for the Attorney General. No details are provided for his condition. However, over $12 Million was spent for heart tests and surgery for Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture Alli Baksh. The Finance Minister and his wife had medical bills of over $3 Million covered by the Ministry of Health while Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy ran up bills of over $1 Million.

Other government officials and some of their families ran up bills for heart tests and other medical procedures.  Of all the money spent by the government  in offering medical assistance, government officials accounted for more than half of the costs.

The opposition parties have always raised concern about excess in government spending. The document only reveals spending for 2012 and 2013. It’s unclear how much more was spent to keep some government officials smiling in 2014.

Filed: 27th February 2015

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