After reading the investigative report in The Virgin Islands Daily News concerning the improper behavior of the executives and the governing board of the Schneider Regional Medical Center in the district of St. Thomas/St. John I was dismayed but not surprised. Additionally the report and recommendation of the joint audit by the federal and local Inspectors General revealed serious deficiencies. We the people should now demand a full accounting from the governing board, both the members of the board in 2002 through 2008, notwithstanding the Governor's stated intentions to implement the recommendations of the joint audit of the Inspectors General. From the report it is clear that the governing board failed in fulfilling its fiduciary duties to the people of the St. Thomas/St. John district. The executives could not have behaved they way they did without the concurrence and support of the board. Therefore, major responsibility for the fiasco reported is that of the governing board.
This is another vivid example of what greed can do to people who on the surface appears to be upright citizens, working in a health care center, one would believe they would be compassionate persons. The report revealed otherwise, these individuals were allowed by the board to satisfy their appetite, to satisfy their greed at the expense of the institutions and the sick patients. How sad a history. Concerning the revelation about Mr. Rodney Miller, Sr. background, once again the board failed to do their due diligence, and check his background thoroughly, as they might have done if a local was the candidate for that job. I cannot excuse the board for their dereliction of duty, for being accomplices in the milking of the medical center for personal benefits. I know there are many in this community that like to condone wrong doing, they like to find excuses or justification for delinquency. But I would suggest to them that they put themselves in the place of all those patients who were deprived full treatment because of the lack of medicines and/or lack services because of inoperative equipment, their attitude maybe different.
I would say the behavior of the board and the executives could be considered criminal, if through their behavior they caused the suffering and premature death of patients due to negligence, due to their mismanagement of the medical center. I would say there seems to be ample grounds for civil actions against all those responsible in one way or the other for the suffering and possible premature death of patients at the medical center. And if there is any attempt to arrive at a settlement, at the least there should be restitution, complete restitution by those responsible. Let us see what our famous political leaders, our representatives in government are poised to do in representing the interests of the people. I believe they, like many in the community heard the rumors and grumbling about the problems at the medical center. Now the investigative report of the Daily News, which I have no reason to believe it is false, has brought the issues to light,
what excuses does the legislature, with its oversight responsibility, is going to put forward. Let us remain alert and vigilant to the actions or inaction of our elected representatives on this very in depth report in the Daily News.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas. VI
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