GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Friday, May 7, 2021) — Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has divulged that auditors have found over $1 billion in expired medications and medical and diagnostic supplies at regional bonds.
Minister Anthony, who was speaking during a press conference, yesterday, said, the government made the decision to audit the regional bonds, after initially discovering over $10 billion in expired drugs at the central bond, when it came into office, last August.
“So, from that report, having completed the audit in every one of the regions, we have been able to ascertain that, in the 10 regions, we have had another $1.1 billion of expired medications, medical supplies and laboratory and diagnostic supplies…these were all expired, before we came into government,” he announced.
According to the Health Minister: in Region One, auditors found expired drugs and supplies to the tune of $22.6 million; Region Two – $33,000; Region Three – $507 million; Region Four – $484,000; Region Five – $395.5 million; Region Six – $202 million; Region Seven – $40.7 million; Region Eight – $24.6 million; Region Nine – $41,000; and Region 10 – $3.3 million.
Minister Anthony said he is in receipt of the executive summary of the report, compiled by the auditors, and that he will receive the complete report, in a week’s time.
In the meantime, the Health Minister said the government has also been able to validate the stock of medicine it has given to the different regions, to offset shortages.
“As of now, in the 10 different regions, we have pharmaceuticals, worth $5.6 billion, across the different regions. We have $877 million worth of medical supplies in the different regions, and we have laboratory diagnostics supplies of, $5 billion dollars, which would approximate the current stock in the regions, being about $11.5 billion.”
“So, while we have expired [drugs] in those regions, we have also been working, very hard, to replenish, and to make sure, that it has adequate medicines to continue doing their work,” Minister Anthony explained.
He said, since coming into office, the PPP/C Administration has changed the old system of having the regions purchase their own medicines and supplies; instead, there is now one centralised purchase, with a proper check-and-balance method in place, to avoid any repeat of the previous system’s waste.