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Misery-filled life that sugar workers, their families now face

first_imgDear Editor,On October 15, in a section of the media, the attention of the GAWU was drawn to a report which stated that Vice President, Minister of Public Security, and Alliance for Change (AFC) Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, in his address to a meeting in New Amsterdam on October 13, among other things, spoke to the sugar industry.Based on the report, the public meeting, described as the launching of the AFC’s LGE 2018 campaign, attracted some 30 persons, and we gathered that the Vice President told those in attendance “…good governments, when confronted with hard decisions, make them while considering the betterment of the entire country, not just one sector…”.We ask what betterment has the so-called “hard decisions” brought about? It is putting people out from paying jobs on to the breadline? Is it denying persons adequate and healthy meals? Is it preventing people from being able to pay their bills? Is it to curtail the education of children? Is it increased anti-social behaviour? Is it family breakups and separation?We are at a loss to find this “betterment” the AFC Chairman refers to. It seems more like increased impoverishment to us. We recall that the Minister has several foot-in-the-mouth episodes to his credit, and this seems to add to an ever-expanding list of such occurrences.The Vice President, referring to the Treasury’s assistance to the sugar industry, told his audience “…wah you go take all the money from the Treasury now and just give one section”? We wish to remind the Minister that in the life of the APNU/AFC Government, allocations to sugar represented 3.98 per cent of the $968 billion that have been approved for spending across the four (4) budgets of the Coalition Government. Certainly, when one looks at the tens of thousands of Guyanese who depend on the sugar industry; or the services the industry provided to the nation, which the Finance Minister lamented in his letter to the media last week that the State must now foot; or the economic activity generated by the industry; or the foreign exchange the industry garnered; the loss of thousands of workers’ contributions to the NIS and the GRA, apart from the other social factors, the Treasury’s investment was more than worthwhile.So, while Minister Ramjattan wants to pat himself on the back for a job well done, and offer quicksand-like defences for the Government’s callous approach to the sugar industry, there has been, as far as we see, no credible reason or any justification for the misery-filled life that the workers and their families now face.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

Valley hospital is sold

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The hospital took a hit from reduced Medi-Cal reimbursements about three years ago and workers’ compensation in 2004. Together they trimmed the hospital’s revenue by about $3.5 million annually, Levinsohn said. “It’s very difficult for small, independent community hospitals to survive in this milieu.” The expansion includes converting a section of the hospital into a 19-bed holding area and adding staff and increasing the capacity of the emergency room. Prime operates Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville and Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino. “As in Chino, we see this as a great opportunity to improve the operations and the infrastructure of the hospital in Sherman Oaks and we look forward to the challenge,” Prime’s chairman, Dr. Prem Reddy, said in a statement. SHERMAN OAKS – Sherman Oaks Hospital, home to the well-known Grossman Burn Center, has been sold to Victorville-based Prime Healthcare Systems LLC, officials said Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed. No changes are anticipated in the nonprofit hospital’s management or staffing levels and Prime has committed to a $20 million expansion plan, said David Levinsohn, Sherman Oaks’ chief executive officer. “Unfortunately, we were not producing enough capital to be able to do the upgrades that were necessary. As a result of that, we went to seek out additional financing,” he said. Reddy built Desert Valley, which opened in 1997. Chino Valley filed for bankruptcy in 2004. Prime took over its management and the hospital emerged from bankruptcy in June. Executives at Prime did not return calls seeking comment. Since Sherman Oaks is a nonprofit community hospital, the sale must be approved by the California Attorney General’s Office. Prime notified the office of the sale in a latter dated Wednesday. This is not the first rough patch for Sherman Oaks Hospital. In 1993, the hospital defaulted on a $167 million bond. Triad Healthcare, the hospital’s nonprofit owner, and the hospital eventually filed for bankruptcy and emerged in 1995 with the hospital becoming Sherman Oaks Hospital and Health Center. Prime’s letter to the attorney general says the sale will retire the hospital’s remaining debt owed to the state. It also says the hospital will need a $50 million cash infusion over the next five years to cover a variety of requirements. Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, said that the sale sounds like good news for the Valley. And he’s not surprised that the hospital was attractive to a company like Prime. “The burn center is hugely successful. The hospital has always had a great reputation, but from a financial standpoint, the word on the street is that they are just barely making it,” he said. Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743 [email protected] SHERMAN OAKS HOSPITAL Opened: 1956 Staff: 500 Doctors: 400 part-time Beds: 153 Noted for: The Grossman Burn Center Sherman Oaks Hospital Foundation Center for Aging 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more