Health and wellness minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, is rubbishing allegations by the Opposition PNP about irregularities in the contracting process with UK-based company The Phoenix Partnership, TPP.

TPP is owned by controversial British businessman Frank Hester. Hester is under investigation for an alleged racist and sexist attack against British Labour MP, Diane Abbott.

Abbott, who is of Jamaican descent, is the first black female MP in the UK. 

Robian Williams reports.

The Phoenix Partnership, TPP, was awarded a contract in February last year to implement Jamaica’s electronic health records.

The contract was undertaken after TPP’s selection as the most suitable firm, following the due process of an international procurement transaction involving the Inter-American Development Bank, or IDB. 

But Frank Hester has come under scrutiny after it was revealed recently that he reportedly said during a company meeting in 2019 that Mrs. Abbott made him ‘hate all black women’ and he wanted her to be shot.

The Opposition Spokesperson on Health, Dr. Alfred Dawes, having learnt of the comments, recently expressed a moral objection to Jamaica doing business with Hester.

Dr. Dawes said there were also serious concerns surrounding the procurement process for the contract. Dr. Dawes spoke with Nationwide on Monday.

The health minister provided a response while speaking on Nationwide This Morning on Tuesday. Dr. Tufton says the variation in the estimates and the final dollar figure was less than 5 per cent.

Minister Tufton is further rubbishing claims by Dr. Dawes that the IDB was excluded from the final stages of the procurement process.

The health minister is declaring that there were no irregularities in the contract process.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton says the government is not reconsidering its contract with TPP at this time.

The health minister says while he understands the concerns surrounding Mr Hester’s comments, he must consider the implications of suddenly pulling out of an international contract.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister, speaking on Nationwide This Morning.