By Lakhram BhagiratFor the past 10 months a construction company has been undertaking rehabilitative works at the Suddie Public Hospital and the Oscar Joseph District Hospital in Charity, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), but despite several warnings from the Regional Administration the company is yet to complete its three-month contract.Debris in the compound of the Oscar Joseph District HospitalThe Region’s Vice Chairman, who also serves as the head of the Works Committee, Nandranie Coonjah, recently related to Guyana Times that the contracts for works at the hospitals were awarded in March 2017 and were expected to last three months with a one-month liability period. She added that since the commencement of the project, the contractor has been utilising three employees for both projects resulting in long delays and general inconvenience to the residents seeking medical attention.“He has the oxygen bank which hasn’t started. He has some defects work, which we coordinated to the Regional Executive Officer [REO] that is not fixed as yet and he has the Oscar Joseph District Hospital compound in a chaos, because he has all the debris he took out of the hospital lying in the compound and has refused to remove the debris from the compound,” Coonjah identified.The boarded-up washroom at the Oscar Joseph District Hospital’s Male WardIn addition to all these issues the male ward at the Oscar Joseph District Hospital at Charity has been closed for months since the toilets are overflowing resulting in the ward being flooded with sewerage. Coonjah added that this would have been raised at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) level and yet the contractor continued being complacent.The Vice Chair indicated that they would have engaged the contractor several times concerning him missing his deadlines and defective work, but all those meetings were in vain since the same issues kept recurring. She added that prior to the awarding of the current contracts the Haynes Construction Company had been accused of non-completion of projects and shoddy works in the Region.She further explained that REO Rupert Hopkinson, who was also Chairman of the Regional Tender Board, was aware of the issue.“The Chairman of the Tender Board needs to take stronger actions against the contractor, because as much as the contractor delays he is affecting quality service…we wrote to the contractor and we are dissatisfied with the work of the contractor,” she explained.On a visit to the Oscar Joseph District Hospital, this publication observed the male ward was closed and the washroom boarded up, in addition to the oxygen tanks being disconnected and broken toilet bowls, sinks and other debris lining the side of the compound. There was no contractor on site and persons at the institution indicated that it has been in that state for a number of months.Suddie Operating TheatreThe Suddie Public Hospital, which is the largest and main hospital on the Essequibo Coast, has been plagued with a non-functional operating theatre for the past two years, resulting in patients being transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital for minor surgeries.However, works are expected to commence for the construction of a new Operating Theatre to the tune of $36 million. Nevertheless, the project is yet to be tendered and during an interview, Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt related that a $4.3 million filtration system and the extension of the drug bond at the cost of $8.2 million are also slated for the Suddie Public Hospital.Ramdatt pointed out that the non-functioning operation theatre has resulted in challenges for both the Region and the relatives of the patients, resulting in increased transportation costs and reduced staff at the hospitals.In addition, Ramdatt noted that another major concern was the lack of an efficient power backup system at the Suddie Public Hospital. He explained that the Region has a generator that was controlled by the automatic transfer system, which developed some technical issues, and the REO sole sourced a contractor to fix the defect, but it was made worse instead.He said after the generator was beyond repair, they then approached the National Procurement and Tender Administration (NPTAB) for the procurement of a new generator, but following delays, the tender was awarded in late November with a supply deadline at the end of December.As a short-term solution, the Public Health Ministry rented a generator from the same company, while the purchased one is yet to be installed.