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May 28, 2014

More on the Central Health Region audit

Last week, News Five took a look at a comprehensive audit of the Central Health Region. The report detailed many cases of apparent financial misappropriation, financial misrepresentation and financial misallocation. Basically, the team found that CHR Head Melinda Guerra and assorted players completed ignored standard accounting practices and financial orders, and in cases lied to manipulate the system. Tonight we conclude our analysis of the report by looking at another special section of irregularities. The audit team thought it important enough to append to the body of the report. Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Following on a long list of financial don’ts, the report of the Auditor-General ends with an appendix entitled – payments which required clarification, however, these were not resolved given the time constraint and should be reviewed by management and/or a follow-up audit.

 

It starts off with another payment made out of the Matron Roberts Polyclinic’s NHI account for an item which was instead used at the Central Health Region – a centrifuge costing five thousand dollars.

 

Then there’s CHR Head Melinda Guerra again, receiving seven hundred and twenty-five dollars in reimbursement for out of pocket expenses totally unrelated to the Matron Roberts Polyclinic – three hundred and seventy-five dollars in fuel and three hundred and fifty dollars for a tire.

 

There are other examples of payments being made for things outside the Matron Roberts Polyclinic, including parts for vehicles used by the Central Health Region and the Ministry of Health. The vehicle driven by Melinda Guerra is responsible for almost two thousand dollars spent from the NHI account at the Matron Robert Polyclinic.

 

There are small irregularities…like paying two hundred and ninety-seven dollars and fifty cents for food for a HECOPAB meeting, while the team notes that HECOPAB has its own vote to pay for food.

 

Even Minister Pablo Marin and CEO Peter Allen get into the picture. The audit team found that in August 2012, the NHI account at the Matron Roberts Polyclinic was used to pay two thousand, seven hundred and sixty-five dollars and fifty-three for plane tickets to Chicago, for Marin and Allen. The report states that all foreign travel is usually done through the Ministry of Finance and payment should be centralized through that Ministry. In this case the check was approved by Guerra and Administrator Alexy Rosado. Rosado claimed that the request came straight from C.E.O. Dr. Peter Allen. According to Allen, he and the Minister travelled to Chicago to deal with a possible donation of ambulances – interestingly enough, though the NHI account at the Matron Roberts paid for the tickets, the alleged donation was not destined for the polyclinic.

 

That withdrawal is small change compared to another found by the audit team, where sixty-four thousand, four hundred and thirty-two dollars and seventy-seven cents was used for the purchase of a vehicle for the Ministry of Health. The audit team was alarmed, pointing out that vehicle purchases are done through the Ministry of Finance. There was no supporting documentation from the Ministry of finance to authorize the payment, approved by Guerra and Rosado. Again, Rosado told the team that the instructions came straight from C.E.O. Peter Allen. He claimed to have received authorization from Finance, but could not provide the documentation at the time of the audit.

 

And there you have it…a small portion of a big picture which points to almost incredible irresponsibility, negligence and deliberate manipulation of public monies. The report was completed on October first, 2013, and eight months after, Melinda Guerra remains as head of the Central Health Region, yet to appear before the Public Services Commission. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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 “More on the Central Health Region audit”

  1. Timbe says:

    I told you a few days ago when this story first broke, that if you dug deeper that you’d find gross irregularities and also find that Peter Allen was involved. There’s more. You need to speak to certain members of the board at KHMH and upper staff management at the hospital. If they are scared and want to keep their jobs ask them to send in the information anonymously.

  2. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    Why arnt these people in jail? The police need to go to these people homes and confiscate what ever Guerra and Rosado have in their homes so it can b auctioned off to recover monies taken for their own personal convenience. They took these accounts like their own piggy bank….but at the end of the day you cant blame them. They are just following from their example Dean Barrow. If Penner could get away, castro got away, boots got away, Contreras got away. She can too, so why not tek from the piggy bank

  3. trade agreement says:

    ALexy looks cute….anyone know if she is single? What’s her contact info?

  4. H@tari says:

    Is there any department/ministry within the GOB that is not corrupt? These bureaucrats are stealing us blind.

  5. ixche pop says:

    OK….so how much longer do we have to wait before the PM addresses this issues. And when is Allen going…he was appointed not elected.

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