That letter writer’s motive is definitely sinister
I must express disappointment that your publication would print such serious allegations as ‘massive corruption in the Berbice Regional Health Authority’ without any sort of investigation or investigative journalism. Even the heading is serious. I am sure that the Berbice Regional Health Authority (BRHA) was not given a chance to answer any of these allegations. I do hope that my letter will be published, and given at least the same prominence as the letter signed by one A. Tahal in last Friday’s edition of the Kaieteur News.
I will try to briefly explain what even a simple investigation can reveal.
(1) In the letter it was stated that ‘There is a certain vehicle that is out of order and still receiving fuel’.
No vehicle can receive fuel if it is out of order since all vehicles have to go to the Gas Station to be fueled. The Gas Station that is used is the Guyoil Gas Station at Palmyra, Village. When the vehicle goes there the vehicle number and the amount of fuel is recorded. This is done by the BRHA personnel and the staff at the Gas Station – in Triplicate. A receipt is issued based on the above. This is stapled onto the page left in the book for later verification and audit.
(2) It was also stated in the letter that ‘Stuff purchased for the mental asylum, only a certain amount goes there. The rest is being diverted to certain individual homes.’
Whenever items are needed for the National Psychiatric Hospital (Mental Aslyum), a Purchase Order is prepared and same is approved by the Regional Executive Officer, Region No. 6, and a copy is given to the supplier. When the deliveries are made, two staff members (Storekeeper and Clerk) would check and verify the items (type and quantities) along with the representative of the supplier and same is recorded in the stores ledger. Routine checks are done by the local administrator, spot checks by the RHA Finance Dept and Audit checks are done on a regular basis by the Auditors from the Region.
(3) It was also stated in the letter that ‘Millions of dollars in drugs are being sold to privately owned drug stores.’
First of all, the system is an integrated one, and the Region 6 bond is fully integrated with the system in the main bond. All supplies received are verified received and as they are sent to the different facilities, the documents are updated. Combined Received and Issued Vouchers (CRIV) and Internal Stores Requisition (ISR) are used to document the collection and sharing of the medication to all the facilities.
In addition, there are:
(a) All combined received and issued vouchers (CRIV) and internal stores requisition (ISR) approved by the relevant department, and prepared, approved before issuing.
(b) Monthly stock verifications done by the Superintendent of Pharmacies
(c) Yearly audits by the external auditors from the RDC.
(d) Standard operating procedures set out by the Ministry of Health which are followed.
(e) Visits by the Superintendent of Pharmacies to all the Health Facilities to check stock level and expiry dates of medications.
I do not know the motive(s) of the individual (if indeed it is Tahal who wrote the letter), but it is definitely sinister. A simple visit to the RHA Office would have sufficed to get the answers, or if they spoke to the managers of the 31 different facilities or even the staff at the Bond in Georgetown.
Anyone who has a complaint or proof of any wrongdoing in the RHA can contact the management of the RHA, the Chairman and Board of Directors of the RHA or the REO, and that is just within the region.
Special Projects Manager
Berbice Regional Health Authority