KHMH again? But who’s guilty?
Thousands of files of what appear to be irregularities at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital have come into our possession. It contains from mundane administrative information to questionable financial charges. There are copies of credit card charges and orders and payments placed to a US based company, Skilled Solutions, for purchases of hospital supplies and medication at exorbitant prices but there is no proof that they were received. At the centre of the latest allegations is Carlos Pererra, the Orange Walk based director who came under fire during the 2009 inquiry, but kept his job at the KHMH. The investigation was launched when doctors and nurses went on strike because of the alleged wrongdoings in the period January first 2007 to June thirtieth, 2009. Soon after, on March second, 2010, Angela Wade, Director of Operations, under the caption (quote) Lack of transparency and failure to follow KHMH policy,” (unquote) wrote to CEO Gary Longsworth signaling her displeasure at the way the hospital was being managed. Wade essentially highlights numerous areas where due process was circumvented and arbitrary decisions taken. Wade records specific cases where tender bids and hirings were done at whim. She writes that (quote) no matter what happens, no matter what line of authority we have in place, Mr. Pererra is left to do as he pleases and push people into all directions and cause conflicts. (Unquote) In the case of the KHMH credit card; the transactions show that Pererra was charging fuel every other day as a matter of routine. There is a long list of transactions to restaurants and supermarkets including Publics, Brodies, Everyday Supermarket, Riverside Tavern, Celebrity, Chon Saan, Biltmore and Caribbean Sunrise. The information began surfacing three weeks ago. A former employee at the hospital, Delroy Herrera, was threatened by the hospital with a suit if the story was picked up. Herrera was first detained on Thursday by the police. Both his attorney Arthur Saldivar and Herrera spoke to News Five today.
Arthur Saldivar, Attorney
“As of yesterday my client Mr. Delroy Herrera, a former employee of KHMH, had been brought in to the station pending an investigation of what I’ve been told [is] robbery. Now as ridiculous as that may seem because robbery implies that whatever was taken was taken by force but that’s basically what I was told. Yesterday he was released without charge at seven-thirty and today he came back on the request of the superintendent in charge of CIB, Mr. Dawson to be present while his computer, his wife’s computer was being examined to determine if whether or not files from KHMH were on those computers. One of the computers, the CPU, there were files from the KHMH and that computer was impounded. The other computer had no files from the KHMH but was still retained by the police. Upon attempting to leave the station Mr. Herrera was taken into custody and now he’s locked down again. The situation here is one that is certainly rife with abuse. The Government of Belize, I believe, is doing its utmost best to punish a person whom they believe has information that is embarrassing to them and certainly of great concern to the Belizean public because this information basically exposes a wide level of corruption taking place at the KHMH. Despite the fact that there was a Commission of Inquiry that was conducted recently, the KHMH by virtue of what is on that computer and on many electronic media around the country now exposes the fact that the purchasing practices at the KHMH have been unbridled and certainly that the corruption one unabated and has actually increased since the commission of inquiry. The Criminal Code Chapter 101 of the Laws of Belize has no provisions that in any way would shed any light on the possible offenses that may arise from what they say Mr. Herrera did. In fact, Mr. Herrera was gainfully employed he was legally employed and had the legal authority to have the information that he has in his possession now. So outside of that I mean there is nothing physical as you know, it’s all on computer as these are electronic files so there’s no, there isn’t a physical document that he went into a filing cabinet and removed and took out of an office. These things are stored electronically all of them.”
Delroy Herrera, Former KHMH Employee
“I neva mi di thief no documents papa. We were stopped by Carlos [Perrera] from bringing jump drives and we were to go, whatever we save must go on the network so when you go and you click and save on the network on the network or whatever the case may be everybody documents di deh. You could see everything and I had interest in this company weh we know we continuously di buy and we di pay in full because da pre-payment and dehn di under ship, items man, items weh from last year 2010, 2011 done weh still noh come een in full yet. Afta when I left from KHMH and I say ah gwein da di media dehn mek sure that dehn staat to bring een di thing dehn one-one, afta that ih just die down again, yo undastand. So that da di situation right now with me.”