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Jul 4, 2012

Media houses boycott K.H.M.H. press conference

The Karl Heusner was subjected to an audit after former employee, Delroy Herrera, became a whistle blower. Documents were released that allegedly showed questionable K.H.M.H. credit card uses, allegedly improper procurement practices, payment procedures and even poor oversight of projects. Well, the K.H.M.H. promptly sent out a press release claiming that the audit showed that everything was quite fine. That statement was sent without the audit for the media’s perusal. The K.H.M.H. attempted to have a media conference where they would explain their version in an audit that wasn’t read by journalists. So,  Channel Five, Channel Seven, PLUS TV, Amandala, Reporter, Belize Times and KREM Radio all boycotted the press conference since despite requests, K.H.M.H. refused to provide us with an advance copy of the public document  to prepare questions for its administration. This morning   Prime Minister Barrow, in the presence of most media houses, made a second call to the K.H.M.H. at ten-fifteen a.m. directing that it be sent out and he also requested that the press conference be pushed to eleven, but by that time most journalists were working on other assignments. The P.M. said the incident was regrettable. 

 

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“Transparency; obviously it is a matter of degree—it seems to be a little bit elastic. But you’re getting it and I won’t judge K.H.M.H. I will say that I regret that we had this sort of conundrum and I hope now that it’s been sorted out and that in the future there won’t be replication of this sort of incident.”

 

Amongst the many items in the audit report were allegations that: the hospital overpaid a foreign supplier Skilled Solution seventeen thousand ninety-eight dollars for medical equipment never delivered; the K.H.M.H. received a “Letter of Credit” seven months after they paid for items totaling ten thousand three hundred dollars that were never received; a prepayment to Flamingo Export Company an amount of seven thousand six hundred and seventy-five dollars worth of Medical Supplies, which were not received to date and the K.H.M.H. paid $one hundred and sixty-three thousand dollars for elevator repairs when the cost of a new elevator would have been one hundred thousand dollars. Requests were made to the K.H.M.H. to have an interview with the majority of media houses that protested today’s conference, however, we were advised that the KHMH administration is taking it under consideration.

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6 Responses for “Media houses boycott K.H.M.H. press conference”

  1. Rod says:

    Barrow needs to be locked up in jail for being an accomplice in the theft of all these monies no one even charged now unu see belizeans why people the thief murder rape and so on its because hey see the supposed leader himself stealing .

  2. jane says:

    I agree mismanagement of the people’s funds happen and the PM knows that Perera had shares in Skilled Solutions. The whistleblower was accurate and so was the Director. They should be commended for being honest. Integrity

  3. Die Hard UDP says:

    da fu time fu eeet , an we like good ting. so wee di hussle..

  4. Storm says:

    When it’s the people’s money, there must be nothing hidden [except for national defence].

    The arrogance of KHMH is actually a red flag — there is something to hie.

    I hope one or more media center keeps the heat on and finds and reports the truth. time for some old-fashioned investigation!

  5. whistleblower II says:

    a new company was formed to manage the BHIS, Belize Health Information System, the owners are all bigwigs in the Ministry of health, and they are paying themselves with a new big fat contract. this is FISCAL DISCIPLINE, UDP STYLE>

  6. Storm says:

    Thanks, Whistleblower. Let’s hope some news media investigates such a contract.

    1. All public executives, elected and appointed, must make financial disclosure under oath, every year, so we all know where their self-interests are. That openness should be part of the price of public employment. It is required in most modern democracies. Transparency promotes democracy, opaqueness destroys it.

    2. No public executive should be allowed to vote on, let, or influence a contract in which he has a direct or indirect interest. Again, that’s the law in most modern democracies. Such contracts must be void, and the people who make them prosecuted.

    3. Any public employee who offers, requests, or receives a bribe must go to PRISON, with forfeiture of all monies received directly or indirectly from public service.

    Those are the minimum laws we need to stop the endless theft of public resources and dishonest government decisions. As it is, the only protection we have against theft is the integrity of the thieves. How well has that worked for us so far?

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