Former Minister of Health, Volda Lawrence, contends that the appointment of former Health Ministers Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and Dr. Bheri Ramsarran as Advisors to Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony is because the Cabinet does not have faith in him.
Lawrence, the Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), made this disclosure during a Facebook live programme.
“From my observation, I noted that the current cabinet seems not to have faith in the Minister of Health because these two former ministers came on after the appointment of Minister Frank Anthony,” she said.
The appointments of Dr. Ramsammy and Dr. Ramsarran came on the heels of harsh criticisms from the public in the manner in which the Government has been handing the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Lawrence believes that the Health Ministry is “worse off” than how it was despite these appointments.
“I am quite certain that the cabinet would have noted that he was not providing the type of response that they expected, and hence, I thought that they sent these two other gentlemen to give support, but it seems as though that is not happening. We are still worse off than how we were before.”
Dr. Ramsammy served as Minister of Health from 2001 to 2011. Throughout that time, he was credited with the country’s global response to fighting HIV/AIDS.
However, he also met criticism during his occupancy for a letter that had his signature and authorized the importation of spy equipment that was later found in possession of members of a phantom death squad.
But he had denied any embroilment. Ramsammy was later transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and remained in that position until the PPP was overthrown in the 2015 elections.
Dr. Ramsarran, on the other hand, served as the junior Health Minister for several years under Ramsammy but took over the portfolio in 2011 under the Donald Ramotar administration.
However, Ramotar, who promoted Ramsarran to the Health Minister’s position in 2011, fired him from the post weeks before the 2015 elections after an audio recording surfaced with him threatening a women’s rights activist to slap and strip her.