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Apr 29, 2010

K.H.M.H. Inquiry report says millions of dollars uncollected

khmhThe one hundred and six page long report from the Commission of Inquiry into the purchasing practices at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has finally been made public.  For the financial year ending March 2009, the public debt that is owed to the K.H.M.H. is twelve million seven hundred eighty two thousand seven hundred and nine dollars.  The Commission noted the urgency to reinstate a bailiff to seek a way to collect the receivables that are outstanding.  The other findings address concerns ranging from questionable purchases from choice providers to misappropriation of funds by the hospital’s executive. One bone of contention was the changing of suppliers for marketing and pharmaceutical products which according to Supply Manager Carlton Usher and former Director of Finance Cecil Knowles, was ordered by Doctor Ricardo Fabro, Chairman of the K.H.M.H. Board and Carlos Perrera the Director of Finance. There was the vegetable vendor Julian Chell, who was replaced even though his services and prices were considered good quality. But on a larger scale, the commission found that the supplier of choice was the De La Fuente pharmacy in Orange Walk which collected over two hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Dr. Gary Longsworth, CEO of K.H.M.H. called it a coincidence in his testimony. And while the commission was not convinced, they found it to be more a case of favoritism than corruption.

Other sticking points were purchases from employees of the hospital, which is strictly prohibited. Among those is Director Freddy Mansu of Pharmacol Limited, who supplied products he claims were not available in country. The commission accepted that explanation but questioned former CEO Dr. Alvaro Rosado’s denial that he knew of the company when he signed the cheque to pay for the items. In review the circumstances surrounding purchases from other doctors, the commission was satisfied that proper consultation was done.

When it came down to purchasing from the retail market rather than receiving supplies from Central Medical Stores of the Ministry of Health which provides pharmaceuticals free of cost, thirty-six instances were found where items were purchased while they were still in stock. Those transactions were deemed unnecessary because there was enough of the medication in stock. These cases are only the tip of the iceberg and we’ll have more tomorrow. One of the recommendations by the commission is that where irregularities were found, police action should follow.

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1 Response for “K.H.M.H. Inquiry report says millions of dollars uncollected”

  1. Learsiman says:

    Same old same in our poor country. Commissions of inquiry, police investigations, court…a lot of noise and then everything calm again. It just the norm to cause chaos then everything goes back to normal. This is like “no man’s land”; everybody seems to care but no one really cares.

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