LGE 2018The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will begin moving election materials during this week, with six days to go before Local Government Elections (LGE) on November 12.GECOM Registration Officer Clairmont Mingo said the Commission would begin moving ballot boxes and other materials to the 80 Local Authority Areas (LAAs) in the coming week.GECOM, in collaboration with the Guyana Press Association (GPA), facilitated an interactive voter education session with the media fraternity on Saturday.“All these materials will be checked at the locations to ensure that they are correct, efficient and that they are also adequate,” Mingo is quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying.Mingo added that an elaborate and comprehensive training programme for all categories of workers was conducted, including ongoing training of polling day staff. “All are expected to discharge these duties with the highest degree of impartiality, honesty, transparency and accuracy,” Mingo said.GECOM Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward reiterated that the Commission would be declaring official results from the LGE one day after the November 12 poll closed.Ward said preliminary results were expected to be announced three hours after the close of polls. She added that results would be disseminated live on television stations in LAAs as well as GECOM’s social media pages.Ward said final results for smaller LAAs were anticipated by midnight, November 12 and the following day, November 13, for larger LAAs.This year, candidates from 80 LAAs consisting of 595 constituencies will be contesting the LGE through a mixed electoral system of proportional representation and first past the post.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shamdeo Persaud has disclosed that 54 medical institutions across the country have received their licences to operate thus paving the way for others to be accepted under the programme after reaching the acceptable standards.Persaud said that for these institutions to meet the requirements, they must be operating as a health facility within the criteria set out by the Public Health Ministry.“Through our licensing programme, we were able to licence 54 health facilities across Guyana, both public and private. We’re looking at having all of our facilities at some point in time, adequately licensed, meaning that they would meet all of the standards for operating a health facility within our jurisdiction,” he said.According to him, there are still circumstances surrounding the shortage of supplies and patients complaining about the fact that they are not getting the required amount of prescription drugs. He is of the view that more can be done to ensure that these resources are managed prudently.Chief Medical OfficerShamdeo Persaud“Issues with supplies still exist and even though the system has improved, we still have some instances of shortages. I think there could be more in terms of how we manage those resources. We still have patients complaining that they’re not getting the required amount of medications. The shortages and difficulties we experience with commodities will get better,” he stated.The CMO also recognised challenges within the procurement procedure and insisted that the regional administration was granted a sum of money to purchase medications should a shortage exist.“There have been some challenges with procurement and most of the regions do have a fallback mechanism where they can buy supplies for short periods of time to supplement what the ministry provides,” said Persaud.Several health centres across the West Coast of Demerara were facing significant drug shortages earlier this year, causing some patients to worry as to whether they would have to purchase basic medications.The issue started at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) and continued at the Leonora Cottage Hospital and the Meten-Meer-Zorg Health Centre.Sources at the WDRH confirmed on Thursday that many individuals, primarily senior citizens, were diagnosed with illnesses and were left with no choice but to leave without any medicine.Junior Public Health Minister Karen Cummings had told this publication that medicinal shortages were also caused as a result of the lengthy procedures at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), but efforts are in progress to eliminate these setbacks.She also noted that medicines reach Guyana after “metropolitan” countries are supplied. Adding to that, Regional Officers have sufficient funds, should hospitals request additional drugs.