It’s time we get value for money


Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony of the proposed Ministry of Health headquarters to be constructed at Queen’s Park East and Jerningham Avenue in Port of Spain, under a ‘Build Own Lease Transfer’ or BOLT facility, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said, especially at this time of Covid-19, how good it would have been ‘if those of us who were involved in the hourly management of this pandemic were all operating from the same place. It would have made life so much easier and decision-making more effective’.

So true, but how good it would be if those involved in the hourly management of the exiting primary care infrastructure and facilities could apply more effective decision making to ensure the public received sometimes simple, other times critically needed MRI, CT scans, etc, and medication at our public hospitals.

Nice to know taxpayers’ dollars would be saved using the BOLT facility to construct the new Ministry of Health headquarters.

But why wait for new headquarters to be built and hope there would be more effective decision making? Why not try a hybrid system that could immediately help alleviate the issues being faced by the public?

Maybe the operation of critical equipment and pharmacies could be outsourced to private operators to be housed at the hospitals? Yes, like in a BOLT way-pun intended. I am sure a better service would be provided than what exists now-well, at least until the new headquarters is built and the decision making becomes much easier and more effective, according to the PM.

It’s time we get real value for the annual spend on the health sector in this country.

Ricardo Lijertwood