Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017


Receive email notices when a commentary is uploaded. Join our mailing list.

E-Mail Address:

View Article

(Aired 15 September 2003)

   The dictionary tells us that incompetence is defined as wanting adequate powers, unable to function, grossly deficient in ability for one's work.

   In the estimates for 2003 we gave the minister of health 2.4 Billion dollars and we gave the Public Hospital, Georgetown 1.8 Billion dollars to take care of our health.

   In this country the life expectancy rate is 63 years, in Barbados it is 72 years in Trinidad it is 70 years. The average Barbadian can live nearly 10 years longer than the average Guyanese simply because he has access to better medical facilities and his surroundings are cleaner,

     There are only two countries in this hemisphere which has an HIV infection rate which qualifies for monies under the US's initiative to help countries with an infection rate of higher of 3% of total population. Only Guyana and Haiti qualify.  Out Minister and our President proudly stood there a few days ago and accepted the US's aid for their own total incompetence, since this is one thing that cannot be blamed on anything or anyone else; we became the second highest infected nation in this hemisphere [apart from Haiti] under this incompetent PPP government. They can't blame this on the 28 years, the marching and the civil unrest. But think about it ladies and gentlemen Jagdeo and Ramsammy stood there with our new US ambassador and accepted this 5-6 Million US dollars because they have failed us completely in the fight against AIDS, and they did it with pride. Have we no shame? Were I president I would have sent Collimore or Shadik to collect it, I certainly was not going to do it.

    Our ministry of Health costs us 2.4 Billion dollars a year and the PHG 1.8 Billion dollars per year this is a total of 4.2 Billion dollars, what is this money being spent on? Apart from doing the usual PPP nonsense of building new buildings, so that the Minister of Health, the permanent secretaries and the contractors can have a good payday from the kickbacks.

   Rebuilding these buildings does not improve health services. It is corrupt practice to award contracts to build inferior structures and the top boys split the take. I don't have to prove it anymore every Guyanese knows what I say is the truth. So now the commentaries can get shorter since the basic lessons of the other commentaries have established the principles under which we operate. Now all I have to tell you are the facts on a particular situation and you will fit it into the context of the philosophy of the overall structure of the commentaries.

 Tonight I am going to crave your indulgence, since this is a matter which concerns me personally but it is also a matter that concerns us all, in a very fundamental way. In less than 12 months I have gotten Dengue fever twice, this second time it was accompanied by pneumonia and has incapacitated me for almost two and half months. There is not supposed to be dengue on the coast, there is not supposed to be malaria on the coast, there is not supposed to be typhoid on the coast, but there is substantial documented proof that these diseases are on the coast in substantial amounts and what is our Minister of health doing? Ramsammy has become the spokes man for the PPP on certain matters and so has Nadir they sit there on GTV about Guyana Water Inc and the Procurement Commission Bill, and make all sorts of excuses for the PPP, let the people at GWI tell us about their incompetence at GWI, Ramsammy, you tell us about your incompetence as Minister of Health, tell us why all of us are getting sick daily with diseases which you claim are not supposed to be on the coast, but are.

   The Documentation I have seen shows that the focus of the malaria epidemic whilst all along the coast and in Georgetown is focused somewhere in Mahaica. Whilst you are at it, Ramsammy perhaps you can tell us why your chauffeur gets so much money as overtime.    

    The US giving this money to the already corrupt and incompetent government officials to help us with the fight against AIDS it is a monstrous joke, since it will never get where it is supposed to go, it will end up in some public official's pocket or building some building which we do not need to get the kickbacks on the contracts, or for buying new Prados for the statistical Bureau and the government officials whilst the rest of us have to buy second-hand Japanese cars.

   But for the time being, what about the Malaria, the Dengue and the Typhoid that is, and has been, infesting the coast during the past 5-7 years? Is nothing being done about that? Will we wait until it starts to kill out our population and Jagdeo will then have another excuse to go with his PPP's Cup in his hand to the US Embassy and beg for more money?

    Dengue fever in a viral infection spread by mosquitoes, which means that there is no treatment or cure, and if you happen to contract any two of the four strains of dengue at the same time, it can lead to hemorrhagic fever, from which there is no record of anyone ever recovering, you simply bleed to death. There has been no recorded case of this in Guyana so far but it is more luck than anything else.

    And we ourselves are to blame ladies and gentlemen, we sit here in our comatose state wallowing in self pity and refuse to militate for these people do a proper job for us, they have double the amount of ministries we need and still cant do their jobs, our consumers associations are all defunct, they have no membership, no one is electing them in any significant way to be members of these consumer protection groups, and so they have no power whatsoever to represent us, and so I reject them all. 

     When Jeffrey and then Ramsammy were mutilating the Medical Council for their own ends to hide the total chaos that our delivery of medical services are in, we all sat by and watched as they put poorly qualified Doctors who were friends and supporters in the Medical Council who would turn a blind eye to their Ministers' incompetence, taking us further down the road to sickness and to death.    

   Billions are being wasted on absolute nonsense and corruption, and we are all getting sicker and sicker, how long will you allow it to continue ladies and gentlemen? You all live in areas where drains are blocked up, where all sorts of garbage is dumped in those drains blocking them further facilitating the spread of mosquitoes daily, when will you raise your voices in protest? Everyone is raising their voices for better and better salaries but what good is a higher salary if you aren't around to earn it.