Minister Ramsammy wants answers from Security firm
Fire at Health Ministry…
Security firms must take on the relevant responsibility they are entrusted with when they are awarded contracts to protect establishments. Failure to do so should see them being penalised. Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy made this disclosure on Saturday when he held a press conference at the National AIDS Programme Secretariat building.
According to the Minister, in wake of confirmation that the fire, which completely destroyed the main building of the Ministry of Health, was deliberately orchestrated by persons, the officers of the Brans Security firm will have to give an explanation.
The firm, the Minister disclosed, was contracted by the Ministry to provide protection to the Ministry’s Brickdam Headquarters. At the time of the press conference, the Minister said that he was aware that at least two of the three guards who were on site the night of the fire were questioned by police but noted that he had not been informed if any information was forthcoming from them.
“I am not trying to be unkind but I am saying you can’t take contracts and not be responsible for what happens on site. Brans Security needs to explain to us what happened. We have confirmation that people came and did this act and Brans was on site. Did they see anything? And if they did not see anything were they asleep? I need to know that,” asserted the Minister.
Since Friday the Ministry had put an end to the contract with Brans Security, replacing it with that of R K Security.
According to the Minister, as part of efforts to “beef up” security within the Ministry’s compound which still houses two buildings, the security firm will furnish the Ministry with one armed rank and three supporting ranks with radios.
Additionally, he noted that police ranks have also been dispatched to assist with security, a development that will only continue for a short while after which additional ranks from private security firms will be provided, the Minister disclosed.
Despite the destruction, the Minister noted that all of the services offered by the Ministry are still being offered to the public but from different locations. He disclosed that already the Adolescent Health Department of the Ministry is operating from the NAPS building, adding that for this week officers of the Central Board of Health and the Medical Assistance Programme will be operating within the boardroom of the same building. These services will, however, be made available from the following week in the bottom flat of the Statistical Building which is located on the left hand side upon entry through the Hadfield Street entrance of the Ministry’s compound.
Minister Ramsammy’s office and that of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, along with the Disease Control Unit will be located in the upper flat of the Statistical Building.
The office of the Junior Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsarran, and the Accounts and Administration Department have been relocated to the Regional Health Services building which is located on the right hand side upon entry of the Ministry’s Hadfield Street entrance.
According to Ramsammy, most of the displaced staffers of the Ministry will remain within the two buildings located in the compound.
However, the Personnel Department has relocated to the Ministry’s Annexe, the Guyana Agency for Health Sciences Education, Environment and Food Policy (GAHEF) building at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown. The Standards Department has relocated to the National Blood Transfusion Services Building, while the vaccination service has relocated and will be available as of today at the Disability Commission Secretariat at 49 Croal Street, Georgetown.
As such, persons who need to travel abroad and require vaccines such as Yellow Fever or children who have missed certain vaccines can in fact visit the Croal Street venue which was the former vaccination site, according to Ramsammy.
This service was removed and brought to the Ministry’s Brickdam headquarters in 2000.
And although the services have all been displaced, the Minister noted that the Ministry will be rebuilt in the near future. He expressed optimism that with the new building, the Ministry will be poised, in a modern way, to engage a new era in terms of the delivery of health care.