The 2009 budget speech in part listed a number of health service centres, some of them active and some to be ready for service later in 2009.
There was a puzzling but important omission.
Starting in the year 2004 a broad based people’s organization known as Jay Bees Medical Services International Inc, from the name of one of its co-founders, invested millions of dollars and more of goodwill in the Buxton-Friendship Health Centre. From recent enquiries I learned that the Guyana government was fully aware of the development and was in fact a contributing partner.
Some of the leading lights, not all, of this organisation are in fact Buxton-Friendship villagers by birth. They had the capacity and standing to attract many professionals and volunteers not from the village or Guyana to help in this great work.
I am not a member of the organisation. However, the public may have heard that it generously gave me − for my idleness, no doubt – a humanitarian award some years ago. Guyana’s Ambassador to Washington was present, as I recollect. I mention this event, as some people may think that I have some sort of vested interest in the organisation.
In any case, the reputation of Buxton and her children has been damaged by the entry of politically reckless persons entirely from outside who exploited the disappointment of the villagers.
It has been said that the government had not voted its share of the expenses in the 2009 Estimates of expenditure. Villagers who went home in January to hold an annual dinner for elders found that the new part of the building was unsecured, to say the least.
The Minister of Finance owes the public an explanation for omitting from his list of health facilities in the making, one in which the people of the village took the lead and he needs to explain what he knows about the planned facilities.