Published On: Wed, Dec 12th, 2012

Cft concerned about loan for NHN construction

WILLEMSTAD – The Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) believes that regardless of how Nos Hospital Nobo (NHN) (New Hospital) will be financed, it is crucial that the construction and operation of NHN fit within the balanced budget where the interest burden rate is not exceeded. The Cft cannot agree with the approach first decided to get a loan of 350 million guilders to go for the construction of the hospital before any decision could be taken on the sustainable development of sound Health Care System. This is what the institution said in an unsolicited advice to the interim Finance Minister Jose Jardim.

Based on the information received, the Cft would like to have some questions answered before it can make a further judgment on the chosen financing structure. The Cft would like to know whether the government stands as collateral in respect of the loan and compared the external financiers and whether this loan is a (in)direct risks for the budget of Curaçao.

Since 10-10 - '10, there is no question of a balanced budget and the underlying deficits are partly caused by the deficiencies in health care.

According to Cft, a solution must be found for the loss-making situation in which the St. Elisabeth Hospital (Sehos) is currently in.

An investigation by government accountant bureau Soab showed that the liquidation of the hospital’s deficit of 53 million guilders is very likely going to be paid by the government and has not been taken into account in the budget.

The Cft is therefore in line with the designation from the Kingdom Council of Ministers which considers that from fiscal prudence first decisions should be taken that the health care system must become sustainably healthy before making significant commitments in the form of building a new hospital.

"These decisions should at most can go hand in hand but not in the reverse order," according to the Cft.

The budget must be in balance, and measures are to be taken where it is clear that they are implemented.  Project manager for the construction of NHN, USUNA, recently announced that the funds for the construction will be sought in the commercial sector

An established foundation will go after the loan. The loan is not in the budget of the country. The business case of NHN is states that the hospital will be profitable enough to finance both the operation and the loan. Therefore the Government is of the opinion that it doesn’t have to answer to the Cft.

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