PHILIPSBURG:— Minister of Health Emil Lee explained to members of the media that the only reason no one from government or USZV are not speaking or doing anything with the plans of the New Hospital is because they are respecting the decision of the court which prohibits USZV and SMMC from moving forward with the agreement they have with INSO.
Minister Lee said that based on court decision if any parties violate the order of the court they have a penalty hanging over their heads starting at $1.000.00 to $25.000.00. Lee said knowing that such a high penalty is hanging over USZV it is only normal they comply. Besides that, he made clear that USZV has appealed the court’s decision which has the support of government and SMMC.
The Minister went on to call on the media to question VAMED about their concerns and reasons for filing a court case when they lost a bid. He said this is the first case of this kind he has ever seen and the only interest VAMED has is financial. The Minister went on to say that VAMED has brought on extra stress and loss of monies on the people of St. Maarten because USZV and SMMC still have to send patients abroad for medical treatment which is costing the people of St. Maarten a whole lot of monies. He said he conducted an open and transparent procedure when he placed the New Hospital on a bid and he was quite comfortable with the outcome.
However, VAMED showed the court the cost the expansion would have cost the hospital in 2009 compare to the cost INSO placed on its DBM bid.
SMN News asked the Minister why USZV or INSO did hold back the contract that was signed by SMMC, government, and INSO for the construction of the New Hospital and their bid from the court if everything was open and transparent. The Minister said that INSO has to protect their interest because they bid against VAMED elsewhere and it is only normal for them to keep their figures and pricing private.
When asked by SMN News if he as Minister of Health knows how much USZV is paying on consultant fees, since he indicated that the medical insurance company is paying a lot for medical referrals, the Minister said he did not have that figure on him but that is something he intends to discuss with USZV when he meets with them. Minister Lee said he believes that will show up in the overhead cost of USZV, he also stated that an entity such as USZV that do not have the necessary expertise in-house do need to work with consultants.
So far USZV is paying KPMG millions in consultant fees (tripartite) one being for the New Hospital, they are also paying Royal Haskoning and Javier Asin. And Jeroen Veen.
SMN News learned that KPMG is reaping millions out of USZV all of which are being paid through the pension funds.
Source: St. Martin News Network
St. Maarten will get its New Hospital despite setbacks — Minister Lee. USZV and SMMC are complying with Court Decision.