November 13, 2023 –WILLEMSTAD – The construction of the Curaçao Medical Center (CMC), formerly known as Hospital Nobo Otrabanda, is a subject of discussion and ready for consideration by a parliamentary inquiry committee. This investigation, aiming to scrutinize the complex decision-making and potential irregularities surrounding the construction of the new hospital, raises crucial questions about transparency, efficiency, and political interests that were at play, says former Inspector of Public Health, Jan Huurman.
The plan, which initially started as a necessary replacement for the outdated Sehos, has undergone several transformations over the years, with significant financial and societal consequences. The decisions made by successive governments are now the subject of critical questions that emphasize the depth and scope of a parliamentary inquiry.
One of the core questions the committee should address concerns the choice to build an entirely new hospital instead of renovating or expanding the existing Sehos. This decision, with significant financial implications, raises questions about the assessment of financial feasibility given the high costs of healthcare on our island.
The role of political interests and potential conflicts of interest in choosing the hospital’s location, first the Plan Pinedo and later the Amstel site, and eventually Otrabanda, should also be thoroughly examined. There are strong indications that these decisions were driven more by political motives than healthcare, logistical, or architectural considerations.
Additionally, the inquiry committee raises questions about the urgency and decision-making processes of the temporary Betrian cabinet in 2012, which may have paved the way for controversial location changes and contract signings. Why was the decision not left to a subsequent cabinet?
The investigation should also focus on the impact of the location change to Otrobanda, including the additional costs and their justification. The financial consequences for Curaçao’s society are significant, and the committee needs to seek clarity on whether these additional costs could have been avoided.
This in-depth investigation is not only crucial for rectifying potential wrongdoings but also for restoring trust in Curaçao’s political and healthcare system. The Curaçao community deserves transparency, accountability, and above all, a healthcare system that is both high-quality and financially feasible.
It is time to shed light on the shadowy decisions that surrounded the construction of Curaçao’s largest hospital.