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Jul 16, 2012

K.H.M.H. Board to review special audit report

Peter Allen

We have been reporting on the special audit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for the period April to December 2011. By and large, it reveals that there were serious irregularities in purchases made for the hospital and that procurement practices were not followed. A number of items that were purchased from a company in the US, Skilled Solutions were never found in the inventory. As it relates to the hospital’s credit card, which was assigned to C.E.O. Dr. Gary Longsworth and Financial Director Carlos Pererra, the audit uncovered that there were no receipts for numerous purchases and that it was used to pay per diems for foreign travel by the Financial Director who had already collected same via K.H.M.H. cheques. The C.E.O. for the Ministry of Health Gary Allen told News Five last Friday that there would be no tolerance for any transgressions at the K.H.M.H. and that the Board will be reviewing the audit. Allen also spoke about media relations and the improved hospital services which he said have been overshadowed by the audit issue.

 

Dr. Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“Those allegations of wrong doing, if true, need to be dealt with and need to be corrected as soon as possible. But it’s hard for us to see how that matches with this increased output and increased performance of the hospital. You remember, just a few years ago, we weren’t even doing hemodialysis services. Now, the Karl Heusner has a marvelous hemodialysis unit with excellent outputs. With the help of the previous director of medical services and the current director of medical services, we now have established a cardiac catheterization unit and you know the real headline for this week and I really do appreciate the concern about financial irregularities because they have no place in this administration. But the real story for this week is for the first time in our history, we will be doing open heart surgery at Karl Heusner. I never thought we’d see that in our history. It’s an amazing story. The financial irregularities are a major distraction that have to be dealt with and I promise you the board is dealing with it. but open heart surgery at Karl Heusner, I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“I think everyone realizes that the K.H.M.H. services weren’t at its best in the years gone by, the irregularities financially were even worse in years gone by; but they wanted it to improve. Even with things when it comes to the credit card and the expense account that is used for the C.E.O. and the Financial Director, those things need to be changed; they need to bring in receipts, the nightly transactions with receipts, you see jewelry stores in the states. I mean something has to be changed in the way that you can just make charges and don’t produce receipts also.”

 

Dr. Peter Allen

“I agree, I agree a hundred percent and also I agree that there has to be a better relationship between the media and K.H.M.H. certainly I’d hope that we could correct that relationship or the perception of poor relationship because the media is an increasingly important part of health system and social services. One of the things with the population day that we were talking about earlier is the numbers of teenage pregnancies and the problems that then young women and young children encompass that has to be address by institutions like our hospital. And then it is the media that helps us identify those issues as well as irregularities which needs to be corrected. I’m not sure exactly when the board is meeting, but I know that the board is being convened by the new chairman to discuss the audit and only the audit.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Because the media does need to know when the board will say something since we haven’t had the opportunity to speak to the administration prior to the release of the audit.”

 

Dr. Peter Allen

“No, I agree. I anticipate that we will probably be asking for some kind of forum with the media so that we can discuss it and hear your recommendations because in the end, I think we all want the same thing. I think we want a national referral hospital that responds to the needs of the people, that’s accountable to the needs of the people that protects confidential information, but retains transparency, for all kind of information that should be in the public domain. Most of all, we want a national referral hospital that provides excellent quality service for all Belizeans. As long as we all have that vision in mind then I think we can make progress.”

 

It is still not know when precisely the board will be meeting, but the audit is now in their hands. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “K.H.M.H. Board to review special audit report”

  1. Storm says:

    The problem isn’t a poor “relationship with the media,” it is misappropriation of public funds, corruption, conflict of interest, and incompetent or non-existent financial oversight.

    The money wasn’t yours, Dr. Allen! You work for the taxpayers, and the money belongs to the taxpayers. These failures are YOUR responsibility, and your refusal to admit that says all that we need to know. Lying, condoning, and deflecting are not satisfactory responses to massive, systemic theft from the NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM whose funds you were entrusted to steward.

    Has any patient died because of this mismanagement? The money belongs to the people, I think the people should be shown ALL of the records, not just a self-serving “report.”

  2. Poor stupid patient again! says:

    It’s not just a matter of producing receipts for the credit card purchases. What the hell does a $1600 tuxedo, fine jewelry and an expensive cell phone kit has to do with the ultimate responsibility of our country’s only tertiary health care facility?

    This Financial Officer seems to have been using the Hospital credit card as his personal check book! Sadly, this crook is untouchable, as he knows a lot about the deeds of even bigger hustlers in top position!

  3. Rod says:

    People need to go to jail all the money stolen where is it why is no one going to jail I guess someone in this gov. Got paid off that is why no one is being charged with theft this gov. Is so corrupt and the po belizeans no even know we di go on what a shame no one should pay taxes because y all end up Ina the pockets of corrupt people in this gov. Say no to taxes.

  4. nicholasa says:

    Dr. Allen is a hypocritical person talking about zero tolerance for corruption. He doesn’t even belong in that position.Ask him about his secret partnership with the biggest provider of pharmaceuticals. he keeps emphasizing quality…ask the patients if they are getting quality medications. His own bomb will soon explode!!!

  5. BMNJ says:

    K.H.M.H. is just one of many that needed auditing and transparency. I could imagine that many high level officials within the different departments of government are involved in some sort of ‘rocketeering’ as well. What we needed are more whistleblowers to come forward and tell it as it is to the general public.

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