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Guyana's Health Minister issues apology for his handling of the sector

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Aug. 26, CMC – Health Minister Dr. George Norton on Friday apologised to the nation for the manner in which he has managed the sector. George Norton Norton told reporters that he was sorry for incorrect statements that he provided to Parliament about payments for the New Guyana Pharmaceutical operation. Earlier this month, the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) called for Norton’s dismissal, claiming that his management of the health sector was way below par. General Secretary of the PPP, Clement Rohee, then said that the opposition was not interested in getting an apology from the health minister. On Friday, Norton said the issue has already had an impact on his life and career . He then promised to hand over in writing an apology over statements made to the speaker of the National Assembly. When asked why he did not resign, Norton said he will ensure every effort is made to ensure that a similar situation never reoccurs under his watch, adding that he remains committed to his job and serving the people of Guyana. The Health Minister promised to be more diligent with his work and added that he will be doing so even if it is considered to be “micro management”. The matter at hand stems from details surrounding the location, the rental and certification of the storage bond contract for the New Guyana Pharmaceutical operation. Controversy recently erupted in the National Assembly when the Opposition grilled Norton on the government’s move to rent a building for a storage bond facility at the price of GUY$12.5 (One Guyana dollar =US$0.004 cents) million per month. T hat move squeezed the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Company out of a possible storage contract. The pharmaceutical company, which never charged for storage under the previous government, had already indicated that it would now be charging for the storage of medical supplies that it would be importing for the government. Norton attributed the move by the pharmaceutical company and its rental price that forced the Ministry of Health to soul source the new facility. The Health Minister told reporters that the issue has had a major impact on his life and career and as he seeks to move forward now, he hopes that he will be judged by his years of service. He added that he would be handing in a written apology over his statements in the National Assembly to the Speaker of the House before the end of the day.
  • Published in Health
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