A major sugar workers’ union has slammed reports that it helped green light the transfer of
health services from the authority of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCO) to the control of the state.
Yesterday, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) said that its position on the transfer of GuySuCo’s traditional health service is unchanged – “GAWU is still strenuously and vigorously opposed to the government plans.”
The union stressed that it “vehemently rejects a reported statement by Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, to the effect that “the Unions representing the sugar workers have been in collaboration with the government regarding the transfer of GuySuCo’s health services to the State.”
A daily newspaper on Thursday quoted the Minister in an article captioned “State begins absorption of GuySuCo’s Health Services”.
“GAWU categorically denied that it has had any discussions with any Minister on this vexed issue, “quietly” or in any manner whatsoever. Dr Ramsaran’s statement is factually inaccurate, misleading and ultimately, mischievous. GAWU is also assured that the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) has also never considered any discussions with any government official on the issue. GAWU wonders whether pressure of work, the already challenging state of Government health services or an outright intention to undermine the two unions credibility is responsible for this false figment of the junior Minister’s imagination.”
GAWU said that its position on the transfer of GuySuCo’s traditional health service is unchanged – “GAWU is still strenuously and vigorously opposed to the Government plans.”
The Union warned of yet another imminent collision course with the Corporation.
The union noted that it had taken a unanimous position on the issue at its 19th Delegates Congress in August 2009 in Berbice.
At that forum, GAWU said that it recognized “That GuySuCo for decades has been providing the sugar industry with primary health care services for thousands of employees and their families.
That GuySuCo is considering the handing over to the Ministry of Health its dispensaries and its Ogle and Rose Hall Diagnostic Centres… That the Ministry of Health which provides health care to members of the public would be unable to have workers and their families treated readily who would have to wait at times for long hours to obtain treatment as is presently the case at public hospitals and health centres.”
The union said that it passed a resolution that called for the corporation to continue managing the medical facilities.
GAWU also said that it is mandated to oppose any such move.
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