Dealing With Unhealthy Spending

Dealing With Unhealthy Spending

We’ve all been through instances where we’ve seen items being marked up at rates beyond reason. And sometimes we shell out that said exorbitant amount for these items. Most times, we pay these prices unwillingly, because of two main reasons. One is the lack of options to satisfy that need, and the other is dire desperation – when you have no choice.

To see such a revelation being unearthed in Parliament by the Health Minister has left many an eye opened widely, yet does not come as a total surprise. We can say with a degree of certainty that goods and services being purchased by Government bodies especially tend to be higher priced than the going market price. After all, the money is from the public purse so how keen, if at all, is the eye for prudent spending?

The Minister displayed items he claimed had a market value of US$18, for example, which was sold to the Regional Health Authorities for $5,800. It brings us back to our point that these items can be marketed at such high prices because of the dire need for it. Blatant highway robbery.

Minister Deyalsingh was vociferous about the absurd markups and claims that fixing it is high on his agenda – that within 6 months to a year it will be rectified. One of the moves he thinks will bring rectification is purchasing from the Pan American Health Organisation, which buys in bulk for the world. While we laud the Minister’s attempt at bringing some sort of sanity to the pricing regime, we can say this is no new practice, nor is it limited to these items or this Ministry.

This is hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars we’re talking about. How much has already been wasted through profligate spending? In an age where we are asked to tighten our belts, can we count on the authorities to go through it’s spending with a fine-tooth comb?

The insistence of the Minister to pull the reins on wanton spending, at least in this instance, is promising. How much can Government implement to other areas and Ministries? We wait to see in 6 months to a year how effective his measures are, if at all, or if it will disappear into oblivion or be swept under the carpet like so many issues before it.


October 16th, 2017

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