BUSINESSMAN Balliram Maharaj has offered to the Government a private hospital in Arima to use to satisfy whatever purpose required in the health sector at this time.
Maharaj told the Newsday he was willing to give it to the Government for free.
The former president of the Supermarket Association and CEO of ADM Import and Export Distributors Ltd, was at the Divali Nagar site where the roll-out of a mass vaccination exercise began on Sunday morning.
The exercise is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the private sector to vaccinate as many people as possible with the aim of reopening the borders, schools and putting people back to work.
Balliram greeted Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon telling them about his offer.
“You could do anything you want with it. The hospital could be ready by tomorrow. We have doctors. We have nurses,” he told Deyalsingh.
Balliram told the Health Minister he had sent him an e-mail outlining the proposal but Deyalsingh said he had not seen it.
Deyalsingh advised him to discuss the proposal further with Dr Vishi Y Beharry, president of the TT Medical Association (T&TMA). Beharry and his team were critical in setting up the mass vaccine site and attracting volunteers to assist in the exercise.
In a brief interview before moving on to detail his plan to Beharry, Balliram would only say he wants to save lives.
He said the high covid19 mortality rate in the month of May and the number of infected people were alarming and frightening.
“I just completed a new private hospital in Arima. I bought it second-hand and have renovated it. I am willing to give it to them (Government) for free, and we have volunteers, doctors."
He said clinics and drive-through covid19 testing were already being done at the hospital.
“The minister told me to talk to Dr Beharry. We are ready to do anything we can to save lives and we have doctors and nurses ready to help make this happen.”
Contacted later for comment, Deyalsingh said he was not in a position to accept Maharaj's offer on behalf of the Government at that time.