PHILIPSBURG:— Minister of Health Emil Lee is almost sure that SZV will give him a letter of guarantee which will guarantee that the health insurance entity will finance 50% of the construction cost of the New General Hospital.
SMN News asked the Minister if there is tension between the Supervisory Board of SZV and the Managing Director? since the Supervisory Board clearly outlined some of the misgivings from the management team of SZV. In response, Minister Lee said he does not know if there is tension between the board and the Director but confirmed that the Supervisory Board highlighted a number of things that have to be improved. SMN News learned that the Supervisory Board made clear that the financial situation at SZV does not allow the health insurance entity to finance the construction of the New General Hospital. They also set a number of conditions that the management team of The Supervisory Board in their report to the Minister made clear that the management of SZV has to accomplish certain things prior to guaranteeing the financing of the New General Hospital. Besides that, the Supervisory Board outlined a number of operational deficiencies which must be addressed.
It is clear that SZV Supervisory Board gave a partial negative on the financing since they set a number of conditions that have to be met prior to the managing director signing off on the financing of the New General Hospital.
Lee said the Director of SZV requested the opinion of the Supervisory Board, the Minister further explained what the Supervisory Board stated in their report is some things he had anticipated and expected because SZV inherited a lot of things prior to St. Maarten becoming a country. He made clear that SZV is in a process of restructuring and this process will take some time. The Minister also confirmed that SOAB is conducting an audit of SZV which he requested since he stated months now that he wanted the entire Health Care chain audited. He said that one of the things the audit is expected to show is if the procurement procedures were followed and if the consultants that were hired by SZV was done for a reasonable time and cost.
The Minister said the audit is to determine the amount of money SZV spent on professional fees and to see if they followed all procedures and procurement procedures. He said that while SZV had to hire expertise they did not have in house, he does agree that they had to have a limit and if the period of time they worked on projects were reasonable.
Asked if SZV received a positive advice from the investment committee for them to go ahead with the financing the Minister said he could not remember the details the investment committee gave the board and management.