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Nov 26, 2009

K.H.M.H. Commission of Inquiry; overpaid suppliers revealed

Story PictureThe anticipated public hearings of Commission of Inquiry into the procurement of medical and pharmaceutical supplies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital began this morning in Belize City. The Commission was established after doctors at the K.H.M.H sounded alarm bells back in June and early July of scandalous prices being paid for medical supplies. Deputy Auditor General, Wayne Simon, was the first to testify before the panel of Julia Castillo, Ervin Nicholas and headed by Justice Adolph Lucas. Simon presented a one hundred and eleven page audited report which revealed that with the exception of a few companies, there was clear indication of inflated payments for supplies between January of 2008 and June of 2009. The damming report also showed that supplies were purchased in the retail market even though there were existing contracts with other suppliers, that some supplies were purchased prematurely even when they were in stock and that there were instances when requisition forms were prepared after purchases. We begin first with the names of companies that the audit found to be overpaid.

Wayne Simon, Deputy Auditor General
“Allied Health Scientific was paid $75,368.25. The bills amounted to $74,468.25. There’s a negative figure under there of nine hundred dollars. That signifies that they overpaid. MG Pharmaceuticals: $80,965.41. Their bills were $72,012.19. They were overpaid $8,953.22. Idelfonso Roberts was paid $63,207.78; their bills were $58,739.33, an overpayment of $4,468.45. Union Distribution got $44,778.50; their bills amounted to $56,558.50. The outstanding amount for them was $11,780. Pharmaceutical Solutions were paid $118,029.12; their bills were $47,086.72. That’s an overpayment of $70,942.70. James Brodies and Company were paid $40,501.98; their bills $27,614.97. They were overpaid $12,887.01. Bradley’s Imports was paid $15,972.73; their bills $14,478.56. They were overpaid $1,494.17. According to the Director of Finance, Mr. Carlos Perrera, the items received that were paid should have a bill to support the payment along with the receiving report. For every payment there should be a bill. So if we didn’t find any bill then we would consider that an under payment or overpayment. Mr. Perrera also stated that the accounts payable clerk should have pointed out any bills or invoices that were not in the system. Further review of QuickBooks revealed that these items in brackets were not received in the system. It is suggesting that an inquiry is to be made to determine whether the hospital had received the items it paid for.”

But even though there were overpayments, up to the time the audit was conducted, the K.H.M.H. still had pending payments of over forty-six thousand four hundred dollars. The total paid out for procurements was seven hundred and seventy-nine thousand, six hundred thirty and twelve dollars for bills that amounted to eight hundred and twenty-six thousand and ninety-five dollars.

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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