The Opposition’s decision to slice the $1.2 Billion budget for the construction of the Speciality Hospital to $0 has infuriated the administration and today Government’s Chief Spokesman Dr. Roger Luncheon described the cut as the “the most inexplicable event” he has ever seen.
The Opposition parties on Wednesday night used their majority in the National Assembly to cut all Government funding for the hospital, advising the administration to come clean on the contracts for the hospital’s construction and establishment. The Opposition believes there should be more transparency on the billion dollar project.
Today, Dr. Luncheon did not hold back Government’s disappointment in the Opposition’s decision. At his weekly post Cabinet press briefing hosted at the Office of the President, the Cabinet Secretary said the move by the parliamentary opposition parties is troubling.
He said “this speciality hospital matter is not going to end here”, perhaps giving Government’s intentions to approach the Courts if the opposition parties do not shift from their decision.
Dr. Luncheon pointed out that back in 2012, when the hospital’s establishment was first taken to the National Assembly, it enjoyed the unanimous support of the the House. Because of that support, contracts and agreements were entered into and work began on the project, he said.
He told media operatives that the decision to cut off funding for the Speciality Hospital project distorted the opposition parties support of other projects and agencies.
During the examination of the Ministry of Health’s budget estimates, Alliance for Change Member of Parliament Moses Nagamootoo said the Opposition parties were not offering “willy nilly” cuts to the budgets. He said there is need for more transparency on the project and the Government must offer that transparency.
Today, Dr. Luncheon said once the Opposition sticks to their decision then work on the project will have to cease.
Long before the budget was presented, questions arose from the Opposition about the construction and establishment of the hospital and some of the contracts that were handed out. The Government sought to assure that all of its dealings with the project were up to standard and there was no issue. The Opposition parties have said that the assurances were not enough, they needed to see a more transparent project.