PHILIPSBURG:— The Minister of Health Emil Lee refused to divulge the findings of the baseline study he paid a Dutch consultant to conduct a so-called baseline study at SMMC, the Inspectorate and the Department of Health. While Minister Lee confirmed he received the report from the consultant that was paid Euros 14,000.00 for a one week job. SMN News asked the Minister to release the conclusion of the report since he has been supporting SMMC who have not been complying with the rules laid down for them by the Inspectorate after the audit was conducted in 2012.
The stance of the Minister even led him to issue a gag order to the Inspectorate, which had to withdraw because the Inspectorate appealed the decision of the Minister. The Inspectorate even filed a complaint with the Ombudsman since they believe the Minister is overstepping and abusing his power as Minister by interfering.
Even though the Minister accused the Inspectorate of interfering since he is the one that called for the independent audit. Now that the reports are in the Minister kept saying he is satisfied with the reports. On Wednesday SMN News insisted and reminded the Minister how much of the people’s money he paid for the baseline study. The Minister then said that the consultant report is of a different nature as that of the Inspectorate tasked with. He described the work of the Inspectorate of conducting a technical inspection. He said the consultant focused more on processes and structure. He said both reports are complimentary to each other. He said where a technical issue is found it turned out that is rooted in the operational processes, which he said also goes for government. He stressed that the two reports meaning the report from the Inspectorate and the consultant are not conflicting. He said the consultant made suggestions as to how to improved structure. He said he is happy with the report and it creates room for discussions which have started.
Minister Lee said the goal of the Ministry is getting everyone to work together if they are going to improve health care on St. Maarten. He said everyone starting from family doctors, public health, the Inspectorate, and SMMC must work together thus the report gave him an excellent basis and based on the discussions thus far everyone is finally talking to each other.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Minister Lee paid consultant 14,000.00 Euros to conduct baseline study but refuses to release findings.