PHILIPSBURG:— The construction of the New General Hospital is on standstill even though SZV paid VAMED EU1M to settle their case so that the hospital project could kick off, however, the Minister of Health kept saying that he is busy looking for financing for the New General Hospital, he went as far as saying the Dutch was willing to finance the project on a low-interest rate.
Recently the Minister told SMN News at the weekly press conference that he do believe the financing process might be completed by July. That is indeed hoping since the consultant KPMG that worked with SZV when they were dealing with VAMED did quite some things wrong even though they have several lawyers working for the firm. One being they did not see the necessity to hold a bidding procedure prior to working out an MOU for VAMED to begin working on the drawings for the hospital.
Another big blunder is that KPMG did not take all the laws that govern SZV and the protection of the pension fund even after they ended their relations with VAMED and complied with the Minister of Health to put the project on the bid. One would think that the firm that is collecting about $100,000.00 in consultation fees monthly would ensure they have all the ducks in line and that SZV neither the bidders will not end up in any type of jeopardy.
While working with VAMED they did not see the need to have an investment committee in place until after the former chairman of the supervisory board resigned. Another blunder is that KPMG did not ensure there was a business plan in place that would enable potential investors to see how they could regain their monies.
The three companies that participated in the bidding process namely VAMED, INSO and BAM Philips all invested close to $300,000.00 in entering into the bidding process.
On Wednesday SMN News asked the Minister of Health about a amount of monies SZV is paying KPMG in consultation fees. Minister Lee said he has no information on the contract between KPMG and SZV, he made clear that KPMG was hired by SZV prior to him taking office. He said KPMG has been hired as the project leader for the New General Hospital. Minister Lee said the work KPMG is tasked with is “front loaded” like preparing the bidding process, preparing the terms of reference, as well as securing the financing. The Minister went on to say that when the financing is secured and the project kicks off then the role of KPMG would diminish.
The Minister said on Wednesday that he is expecting the financing to be secured by July to August 2107 and thus far the preliminary discussions are going well and he is optimistic that financing will be secured soon. He said the design for the hospital is continuing. He said he does not know how far that process is but one thing he does know is that once the contractor reaches a certain stage they will have a consultation process with SMMC and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on board.
It should be noted that ever since the project began there have been mistakes that are being discovered along the way, a reason why SZV had to turn over the construction of the New General Hospital to SMMC. While that was said and signing took place at SMMC the agreement between SMMC and SZV is a hidden document even though the people’s pension monies are being used to pay the consultants and all other expenses thus far including the settlement with VAMED.