Why can’t officials get medical treatment locally?

Dear Editor,

There has been a big furor as to medical and dental expenses incurred by government officials.

As a registered dentist in Guyana, I would like the public to know, especially after GHK Lall’s letter to SN, in which he insinuated that “Jagan Dentistry” may have gotten some of the government payments, that this office at 199 Charlotte Street, has never been the recipient of any government cheque for dentistry.

It is regrettable that the Minister of Amerindian Affairs would spend $2.1 million in dental treatment when most Amerindians can barely afford extractions; it is regrettable that Mrs Hinds could spend $780,000 on dental treatment when most citizens from Linden can’t afford good dental treatment. It is regrettable that Minister Webster would spend $1.2 million of the taxpayers’ money when the average sugar worker can barely make ends meet.

As to the expenditures on medical treatment, it is indeed alarming that government officials could not receive treatment in our own medical services which are so much boasted about in government propaganda. I have medical coverage in the United States, including Medevac (medical emergency requiring airplane transport to the USA) and in the two instances where Medevac would have applied to my situation, I underwent surgery at the Georgetown Hospital to correct leg and shoulder injuries. Why can’t these officials do the same, instead of incurring huge expenses paid by the taxpayer?

As a matter of fact, I remember the day when President Cheddi took in and was at the Georgetown Hospital fighting for his life, and at the emergency meeting in the hospital where all were gathered and Roger Luncheon asked the question about who would pay for President Cheddi’s medical evacuation to the USA, I was so enraged at his question that I would not repeat what I told him. Today, all the big shots, including Dr Luncheon, go abroad while the regular Guyanese have to deal with sub-standard medical treatments.

President Cheddi would never have approved these medical and dental expenditures if he was alive today, and Minister Pauline Sukhai should resign out of shame and respect for Jagan on his anniversary.

These government officials should remember what President Cheddi said: “A Cadillac [Rolls Royce] lifestyle by government officials in a donkey-cart economy is not what the Guyanese people deserve.”

Yours faithfully,

Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr)

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