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The Minister of Health on Saturday make known to the national Assembly members that the Gambia has a very bad system which requires some significant changes.
Dr. Ahmed Lamin Samateh was speaking before lawmakers on Saturday afternoon on the condition of COVID-19 in the country and why the payment of allowances to the salient workers was not made on time.
He said rather than dealing with the overcoming of COVID-19, putting in place what needs to be done, developing the strategies, people were thinking on how to amass money through the guarantee allowances.
He said there were people who were known for bungling the fund meant to fight COVID-10 as they did with the Ebola fund
“I think we inherited a bad system. That is the bottom line. The same old people are there. They got used to the same bad system. We talk about Ebola, unfortunately, Ebola funds were wasted in this country and that is what they want to do with this and we say no.”
“That is why some of them are up and against. The Ebola funds were wasted here. What that would have done, today, our health system wouldn’t have been like this. There were equipment which were said to have been procured which never got to this country. Nobody sees them. Allowances were put together – then allowances were paid as impress and I was told they put it in bags and they went and paid selected people and the rest only God and they know where the rest went to. Some people were left as a response team for three months and they never get a dime paid to them. They are still here.”
He said the same people are still around and now that they don’t have the access, they are vandalizing the system.
“To them, things won’t work. To them, things will fail. This is the frustration I am facing as a health minister.”
He added: “Unfortunately, people started forgetting about COVID 19, all they talk about is money, money, money. That is why I said our work is very difficult.”
He said there is a great number of health workers who are on daily bases sacrificing their lives for the country, but there are one or two substandard elements too.