Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon today sought to clear the APNU+AFC from the drug shortage scandal that is currently dogging the health sector.
Recently, it was announced by the Health Ministry that more than $10 Billion worth of expired medical supplies were dumped over the past five years and that compounded the drug shortage. The former coalition government was blamed for the problem.
But during a press briefing this afternoon, Opposition Leader Joe Harmon said the coalition will not be taking the blame for the negligence of the PPP. He said the drugs that were dumped, were drugs that expired long before the coalition took office in 2015.
“In recent months we have heard from the Minister of Health that the current drug shortage is because of the APNU+AFC’s management of the health sector. The media was fed with the usual lies that the $10 billion had to be dumped and that the fault of the APNU+AFC. We wish to make it pellucid that these drugs were expired since 2013″, Mr. Harmon said.
He said the President and Vice President recently met with Regional Health Officers who were asked to assess the drug shortage in their regions and provide a report to the Vice President.
According to a correspondence seen by News Source, the RHOs were also asked to develop a national emergency order and forward that order to the Office of the Vice President.
Mr. Harmon said he suspects the government may be trying to create a smokescreen to sole-source the drugs and hide from the procurement process.
“ So what you hear next $385 million worth of drugs contract awarded to Western Scientific, this is a company that was blacklisted by the IBD, we did not deal with that company because of its blacklist status during out administration. But as soon as Jagdeo comes in, bypass the procurement system…. bring the list to me and I will find a way, and this is the way he finds”, Harmon noted.
Mr. Harmon said the single sourcing of medical supplies dates back to pre-2015.
He said while there appears to be a genuine drug shortage, the administration seems to be manufacturing some of the issues so that persons and businesses aligned to the government could cash in on what he terms a “manufactured crisis”.
The Health Ministry recently announced that efforts are underway to purchase hundreds of millions of dollars in drugs to ease the shortage across the country.