The Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh is still awaiting a report from the chair of the Eastern Regional Health Authority into the procurement process used and the state of the former Aging At Home facility’s readiness ahead of the patients’ arrival on Saturday night. The chair, Esme Rawlins-Charles, was given 48 hours to produce the report. The deadline expires on Tuesday.
The home is being used as a convalescent facility for those recovering from COVID-19, however, since the arrival of the first batch of patients on Saturday, it’s suitability has been the subject of debate with divergent opinions coming from patients housed there. The procurement of the facility has also come into question.
An Express news report published on Tuesday cited the ERHA CEO, Ronald Tsoi A Fatt who indicated the facility was being rented at a cost of $105,000 monthly for the next three months totalling $315,000 inclusive of utilities and inclusive of utilities and insurance charges. The owner, who was named in the report is alleged to have ties with the People’s National Movement (PNM). Asked about this tie at today’s press conference, Deyalsingh said: “That arrangement was done between the ERHA so I suppose all that would come out in the report.”
However, speaking at a virtual press conference on Monday, Minister Deyalsingh apologetically said, the issue would not be allowed to happen again. He also assured that immediate remedial work was conducted on the facility and as a result, patients have not taken up the Ministry’s offer to be relocated.
Reporter: Rishard Khan