Former First Lady Varshnie Singh is claiming that her application for land to build a children’s hospital on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway is being held up by President Bharrat Jagdeo. But the Head of State denies the claim.
In an interview with Kaieteur News last week, Singh said that she had first applied for land at Turkeyen, but that request was turned down.
On Friday, President Jagdeo said that his ex-wife wanted the land, just over 30 acres, to be part of her benefits as part of their separation agreement. He said he could not do that because it was state land.
When the Turkeyen plot was denied, Singh said she subsequently applied for land along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.
She said that she has been in constant contact with the Lands and Survey’s commission, but has been told that the application was awaiting the President’s approval.
Asked about this, President Jagdeo said that he does not approve land distribution and he does not have Ms Singh’s application on his desk.
Further, he said that if his ex-wife intends to build a children’s hospital for charitable purposes then this should be processed as a matter of priority. But he maintained that his desk does not keep those applications.
In a document supplied to Kaieteur News, Singh said she has already submitted, with the application, details of the project and how she intends to finance it.
She said her intention is to build a state-of-the-art children’s hospital that would be financed by investors.
To fund the project, Singh said the intention is to create a virtual hospital and have investors buy a brick for US$1,000 each.
“There are at least 500 (investors) waiting for us to launch our hospital website so they can start buying,” Singh said.
With the hospital, Singh said she could get doctors to come to Guyana to do surgeries free of cost, as opposed to having children taken to India, as she is currently doing. Since the charity started, Singh has taken 55 children and 22 adults to India for heart surgery.
“We will bring the expertise to Guyana so that more people can access the care and therefore save thousands of dollars and time travelling the world to save lives,’ said Singh.
She said that she applied for the land on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway to build the hospital, which would have a cardiac facility, and also facilitate neurosurgery, eye surgery, bone and chemotherapy.
“I applied for land…and the application is in the system awaiting the President’s signature and also EPA and other approval,” said Singh.
She said the intention is also to have the hospital equipped with a computer lab and research facilities, along with classrooms for lectures.
“It will be a teaching hospital…It’s a kid friendly and people friendly hospital. Overseas medical students could do electives and voluntary work with us,” Singh said.
The former First Lady said her plan also is to establish cottage industries after training people in the surrounding communities to do farming, craft making, cooking, dressmaking and various other micro-enterprise initiatives.
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