Minister of VSA tried to confuse MPs with Presentation during Central Committee meeting.

~ MP Luc Mercelina requests figures on each fund, ask for a breakdown on the amount paid as consultancy fees.~

PHILIPSBURG: — Minister of VSA Emil Lee and the director of SZV Glen Carty tried their best to confuse Members of Parliament when they reported to Parliament on Friday for a Central Committee meeting to discuss the current status at SZV. However, some MP’s are sharp and seemingly are well informed as to what takes place at SZV. MP Luc Mercelina asked the Minister to provide parliament with the exact figures on how much money SZV loss since the passing of hurricane Irma. Mercelina made clear that the presentation was not complete as they did not provide figures since the passing of hurricane Irma and Maria.

The Minister told parliament that SZV direct, control and manage a few funds. Mercelina said what he realized is that in the presentation SZV consolidates the funds and did not give parliament the exact status of each of the fund. Mercelina said he is very much concerned with the consolidation of the various funds each of which has a specific task. He asked the Minister to inform parliament which fund is servicing another fund.

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Mercelina made clear that each of the funds that SZV manages has a separate task, and already four of those funds have a negative balance. He asked the Minister to tell parliament which of the fund is under supervision by the Central Bank. Mercelina a medical specialist by profession asked the Minister to explain parliament which of the fund is filling the gap since government is not up to date with the OZR payments. Mercelina said he hopes that SZV is not touching the AOV (pensioners funds) to fill this gap. The Member of Parliament asked the Minister to give him a full breakdown on the amount of money paid over the past 4 years on consultancy fees. He asked the Minister to give him a detailed breakdown of how much each consultant was paid and for what services. He also asked the Minister to provide parliament with a breakdown spent on referrals and if any proper checks and balances are done on the patients traveling overseas for medical.

Mercelina went on and gave the Minister some stern warnings one being the increase on the tariffs. He said the focus should not be on the tariffs but on the premium. He also warned the Minister about the National Health Insurance (NHI) that he wants implemented on St. Maarten. He told the Minister that the NHI was developed for the rich Scandinavian Countries and these countries are struggling to maintain the NHI. He also told the Minister that even Aruba cannot get a handle on the NHI thus he wants the Minister to know that whatever he is doing should be something that is feasible for St. Maarten. He also warned the Minister about his idea that having specialists on St. Maarten would save SZV money. He said that all specialists come at a huge cost. He said that with each new specialist comes salaries and more expenses for tests.

Member of Parliament Tamara Leonard zoomed in on the recruitment process that was stopped by Minister Lee. Leonard wants to know whose responsibility it is to recruit a director and does the Minister have the responsibility to stop such a process.

Leonard also asked the Minister to bring parliament up to date on the payment to doctors and pharmacies and other healthcare providers that works with SZV to provide healthcare services.

MP William Marlin also questioned the reasoning to stop of the recruitment process of a new director. He said the current director was appointed on a part-time basis. He asked why  SZV is not recruiting an adjunct director since SZV is working on several projects.
Marlin also expressed concerns to the health of the different funds. He said some of the funds are healthy while others may go bankrupt. He said the Minister wants to synchronize the funds to eliminate the bankruptcy. Marlin asks who approves the cross-financing from one fund to the other.

As for the New General Hospital Marlin said during elections there were photo ops and signing of contracts for the New General Hospital. He asked for the total cost and breakdown for the construction. Marlin also asked how much money SZV committed to on this project. Marlin also questioned the number of court litigations filed against SZV. He also asked which of the funds the money was taken from to pay out VAMED.

Marlin also asked about of consultants working for SZV. Marlin asked about the Human Resource Director is working as a consultant and if this person is paid tens of thousands of guilders per month. He also questioned the fact that there is no cap on the director’s spending. He said that he remembers when the director loaned a large sum of money to  Zebec. Marlin said Ministers do not have that kind of spending power. Marlin explained that while Ministers is responsible for their Ministries, they cannot sign off on anything that costs more than NAF.50,000.00. Marlin also asked about the Operational Audit that was requested. He also asked if it is true there was a request to conduct an Operational Audit was stopped by the Minister of VSA and why that was done.

MP Brison wants to know why a representative of SZV board was not present in parliament. He asked what is the role of SZV board and also what is the chain of command within SZV. He asked if SZV board members were consulted when SZV has to report to parliament. Brison asked the Minister if he has in his budget means to ensure that government’s debts are paid to SZV. He said he does not want to see the day when people that are insured by SZV are called to paying cash to see a doctor. He asked the Minister to provide the investment policy if they have one, he also wants to know what the role of the board is when making investments. Brison asked the Minister for a breakdown on the cost for litigations against SZV. He asked the Minister to provide information on the NAF 1.4M that E-Solutions won thru a court litigation. He asked who is the proprietor of E-Solutions and if that person is now working in the cabinet of the Minister of Justice. Brison also wants to know if E-Solutions is still working as a consultant for SZV or the Ministry of VSA.

Brison asked about the financing of the New General Hospital, he asked the Minister to explain what happens if SMMC is in default in paying its loan. He said he understands that SZV will be financing the project, but he wants to know what is in place to protect SZV’s funds. He also asked about the famous photo that was taken when the Minister signed off with the stakeholders just prior to the 2018 election. He asked the Minister to inform parliament what is the role of NIB bank (Andy Wescot) in the construction of the New General Hospital.

Chairlady of Parliament Sarah Wescot Williams unexpectedly adjourned the meeting while there was five MP’s still wanting to speak. This was contested but the chairlady adjourned the meeting to accommodate a meeting scheduled for 3 pm.

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Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/30509-minister-of-vsa-tried-to-confuse-mps-with-presentation-during-central-committee-meeting.html

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