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Nov 26, 2009

Wastage and conflict of interests also revealed

But there was more stench to come. Simon said that the audit team found that there was general wastage and that they could not confirm that the medication purchased was received by the patients. And in some instances, there was a clear conflict of interest.

Wayne Simon
“In other instances K.H.M.H. made purchases of items on the retail market while C.M.S. delivered the same item simultaneously. In many instances, it appeared that the purchases were not justified when the usage rates were examined—and we got into that in the detailed part of the report. The items received were recorded as taken in charge and issued to the various units in the hospital. These were recorded in QuickBooks, which was the accounting system used at K.H.M.H. However, there was no system to readily confirm that the items reached the patients. QuickBooks physical checks revealed discrepancies which were confirmed when test of items recorded were compared to QuickBooks balances. Going on to paragraph 4.2, we noted that significant quantities of specially authorized drugs, referred to as SA drugs, were not supported by proper authorization of the Ministry of Health and these were purchased over a period of time. Management knew that Mr. Freddy Mansue, the senior radiologist, a registered owner of Pharmacol provided films and other supplies used by K.H.M.H., a clear conflict of interest in our view. The C.E.O., Ministry of Health received thirty-one bids that were publicly opened on the twenty-eighth March, 2008 at an official ceremony at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Numerous codes were randomly assigned to each bid by the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health attempting to blind the evaluation process. The information technology unit of the Ministry of Health prepared working documents that included all bids for each product. Subsequently, the C.E.O. Dr. Peter Allen, generated a working document of his own with the bids for various medical and pharmaceutical items. On the seventh April, 2008, the C.E.O. submitted the documents to tenders committee for evaluation without supplying identification to supplement the electronic working document.”

Simon also said that the system within the K.H.M.H. was so weak that a cashier named Tifara Anderson allegedly defrauded the hospital over twenty eight thousand dollars.

News Five tried in earnest to reach the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, for a response to the scandalous information revealed. Both were unavailable. But in a telephone interview, President of the Belize Medical and Dental Union, Doctor John Sosa, said he will comment when the testimonies are over. In response to a comment Simon made today that he had written to Sosa as a part of the process and had not gotten a response, Sosa said it was not intentional and that it was a mere oversight on his part. The session will resume Friday with more testimony from Wayne Simon. The other witness will be the Director of Human Resources at K.H.M.H., Laurel Grant.

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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