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  • A breakdown of the expenditure indicates that close to $750 million was given to the four regional health authorities to boost their capacity to mount an effective response to the pandemic and an initial $200 million was provided to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UWI) to enhance its capacity.
  • Also included in the expenditure to date are $500 million for the procurement of prescription drugs through the National Health Fund (NHF); $303,805,108 for the procurement of personal protective equipment for frontline workers, including doctors and nurses; $194,683,664 for the procurement of some 32 ventilators; and more than $2 million as an initial payment for the procurement of COVID-19 test kits.
  • In the meantime, the Ministry is currently in negotiations with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for additional funds to provide resources for the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts over the next six months.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has welcomed the Auditor General’s interest in auditing funds that have been spent by the Ministry in the country’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

He said that the audit is important in ensuring transparency and accountability.

Last Friday (May 1), the Ministry disclosed that it has so far spent $2.5 billion of the $2.8 billion that was allocated by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for the COVID-19 response.

The Auditor General has since expressed an interest in auditing the Ministry’s expenditure.

“Of course, we have no issues with that…and that audit, I am told, will commence sometime next week,” Dr. Tufton said at a virtual press conference on Wednesday (May 6).

“The executive management of the Ministry welcomes the audit as a tool for effective and efficient implementation of activities and for transparency and accountability and the public will, of course, be provided with a detailed outcome,” he added.

A breakdown of the expenditure indicates that close to $750 million was given to the four regional health authorities to boost their capacity to mount an effective response to the pandemic and an initial $200 million was provided to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UWI) to enhance its capacity.

Also included in the expenditure to date are $500 million for the procurement of prescription drugs through the National Health Fund (NHF); $303,805,108 for the procurement of personal protective equipment for frontline workers, including doctors and nurses; $194,683,664 for the procurement of some 32 ventilators; and more than $2 million as an initial payment for the procurement of COVID-19 test kits.

Other costs covered by the $2.5 billion include the retrofitting of five facilities to quarantine or otherwise isolate and care for persons, who are suspected or otherwise confirmed to have COVID-19, including the installation of network infrastructure in some instances, and the provision of soft furnishings, together with handwashing stations.

In the meantime, the Ministry is currently in negotiations with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for additional funds to provide resources for the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts over the next six months.

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