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The ruling Party’s contention that Guyana has one of the “highest rates of migration per capita on planet earth” is both factually inaccurate and deceptively wrong. This was the opinion advanced in defense of the hiring of Bangladeshi nurses to fill the local shortage, in Guyana, of members in the profession.

Exam results, not so long ago, appeared to reflect some serious fundamental problems with gearing the profession to efficiently cater to national needs. Educating nurses is as essential as nurturing a culture of caring reflected in the attitude of caring and cordiality – part of the operational principles of care giving.

In combination has to be the Labor Component that’s critical to the economic Engine of Gross Domestic Product. Hiring nurses is not a whimsical decision done in some kind of politically euphoric abstract…“to fix the problem”.

Health spending is budgeted with population and its growth in mind, the affliction of chronic and acute diseases and emergencies like a pandemic, as well. That’s the hub from which healthcare staff is planned and all of the infrastructure that makes it a viable entity, inclusive of goods and services.

These cannot be divorced from critical quality measures like the national death rate which climbed to 10 per thousand in 2021. And Healthcare spending of a mere USD 378.06 per person, ranking it at 91 out of 179 countries is not health-forward expenditure per capita.

That labor has to be imported is always an issue in a nation that has a double digit labor force available for work… and even more so when available labor is not broken into racial and gender demographics.

What’s curious, especially considering some input factors we’ve outlined is the recruiter Sigma Engineers that has been assigned the contract to recruit these nurses.

There are all sorts of exclamations and lamentations coming from all quarters of Guyanese none of which question what is Sigma Engineers Ltd. Inc. and why an engineering company would be recruiting nurses.

This brings us to the democratic governance that our Constitution still guarantees and the question of who is the Shadow Minister to the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce.

There’s assertion that the ruling Party has no Constitutional obligation to consult with anyone, given its simple majority in the National Assembly to pass legislation. There’s declaration that the Constitution’s Article 13 is aspirational and therefore unenforceable, with the ominous qualification that “perhaps now we will have it determined” implying a possible amendment to make the Party with the National Assembly majority a dictatorship.

This, suggests that there is appetite, even intention, to ignore the inclusionary dictates of the Constitution that mentioned ‘democratic sovereign state’ and ‘sovereignty belongs to the people’ in its first and second chapters of its original rendition.

It’s our opinion that this emboldened vision is a result of the comparative complacency of the other Parties- particularly the PNC – which allowed the Constitution to be diluted and reduced in nobleness of declaration – especially in its pre-amble originally crafted by stalwarts like Eusi Kwayanna, that now reads with the absence of flair that has reduced its reverence to the interpretation of those who would be dictators.

It is hardly an accident, is our opinion, that the Constitution has been amended as many times as it has under the Party that has ruled for the longest period since the document became the supreme law of the nation.

It reflects the callous overtones of the of the recent suggestions that a revisitation of Article 13 could be replaced by wording that would clearly state that the Party with National Assembly majority can make the rules unilaterally and Guyanese will just have to accept it because power and not democracy is the engine of their national politics.

And its this Administrative absence by the elected Opposition that has allowed the contracting of Sigma Engineering Ltd. Inc – a resident Bangladeshi engineering company, no less, to import nurses to fill quotas lacking in Guyana.

It is the consistent appearance of lack of policy and system based on adversarial strategy that appears to impair this Opposition. It is not practicing political reality…if success is the goal.

The Opposition MP charged with understanding the workings of Trade and Commerce should know what Sigma Engineering is about and question why an engineering company has been contracted for this major Human Resource project.

The MP charged with understanding the Minister of Labor portfolio should know what is the formula that calculated the number of 500 as the levels at which they will be employed and for how long.

The MP charged with understanding Home Affairs should know how long the imported labor will be in the country for and should be liaising with Labor to determine salary… which should not be an arbitrary figure tossed out by one Party.

The Opposition is an elected arm of Government irrespective of how the ruling Party sees their portfolios and has a fiduciary responsibility not only to its electorate but the nation, since the Opposition is a national arm of Government.

We’ll add that a functional Opposition is seen as a staple in democracy by America which touts its exportation of the practice to Guyana.

Here’s to hoping that the Opposition revisits its obligation to preserving the nation’s democracy sooner rather than later. The ruling Party, unopposed, is taking every advantage it could of the absence of a viable Opposition.

We’ll add that Bangladeshi nurses are not exactly FLORENCES of NIGHTINGALES but seem to be preferred for a reason that is less expertise -related than not…given all that they lack.

And the religion comes with its own unique challenges to these nurses operating in a comparatively secular nation and with male patients.

Democratic Backsliding ranks amongst the most popular ascriptions to authoritarianism at UN Meetups

And it occurs when elected Oppositions like Guyana’s PNC remain absent from duty.

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