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#222163 - 12/10/06 08:21 AM GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC land?
Marty Offline
Universal Health Services (UHS) will become a public hospital. According to a statement issued from the Office of the Prime Minister today, Cabinet met on Tuesday, December 5, and approved the purchase of a two-thirds stake in the private hospital.

How can the financially challenged Government purchase majority stake in the private hospital? GOB is not paying UHS any cash, but has, instead, decided to pay the hospital’s multi-million-dollar debt with the Belize Bank. That also begs the question: how will GOB pay the Belize Bank? At press time, however, no details on the financial aspects of the transaction were forthcoming. Our sources say the Lord Ashcroft bank will receive extensive real estate on San Pedro Ambergris Caye.

According to today’s Cabinet release, “Government proposes to enter an agreement to settle Universal’s debt owing to the bank in exchange for two-thirds ownership of Universal.”

UHS would have to repay GOB and also settle its existing debt with the DFC.

Despite numerous attempts, we were unable to speak with Minister of Health, Hon. Joe Coye, on the arrangement; however, Cabinet Secretary, Robert Leslie, elaborated somewhat. He said that Government wouldn’t be taking on the full debt that UHS owes, but that UHS would still have to pay a portion. When we asked for the numbers, he said that the numbers would have to be clarified.

At the public hearing of the Commission of Inquiry into the DFC, it was revealed that DFC stood to lose $29 million in the event of UHS’s total default, but the assets held as collateral were valued at $22 million. The Belize Bank has the first mortgage and the DFC the second mortgage.

According to UHS chairman, Dr. Victor Lizarraga, the UHS had originally applied for a DFC loan of $28 million, but because the DFC was not supplying the funds in a timely fashion, they had to go the Belize Bank for “bridge financing,” which would have been a temporary loan until the DFC funds came through. This was why there was the DFC guarantee, he said, because the bank would only have approved the loan with a sovereign guarantee. But according to Dr. Lizarraga, the DFC funds never came through, and so the loan stayed with the Belize Bank, which capped it at $17 million.

He said that the whole cost of the project to build the UHS hospital, located in the Coral Grove area, was about $14 million: the building cost $8 million, equipment cost $4 million and surgical supplies cost another million. $3 million from that loan went back to paying interest, he added.

Last December Lizarraga had threatened to sue the DFC:

“I’m going to sue the ‘frigging’ DFC, I’m telling you,” he had said.

“On what grounds?” we had asked

“Because they did not comply with the September 2002 agreement. It was not complied with,” Lizarraga added. “And not only that, but they knew from April last year [2003], that there was a problem. I have correspondence to show that.

“They know that! This is not a joke! If they think they will take this make a joke, they will find out who will be responsible…”

The major shareholders in UHS are Lizarraga, Luke Espat and a group of over 20 doctors. Lizarraga declined to say what the stake of each shareholder is, but informed that he is the major shareholder, currently, in UHS.

We note that when we contacted the CEO of KHMH, Dr. Alvaro Rosado, and chairman, Israel “Pie” Marin, about the decision to amalgamate the services of UHS and KHMH, both of them said that they had not seen the proposal and are not aware of the details, but they had heard that a deal was being considered.

According to Dr. Rosado, he only learned of Tuesday’s Cabinet decision during the lunch hour today when he was listening to the mid-day news.

http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=5206

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#222332 - 12/11/06 07:19 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC land? [Re: Marty]
ex,why z? Offline
Yet another example of the P U P bigwigs taking care of themselves and thier friends with OUR tax $.

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#222903 - 12/13/06 08:00 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC land? [Re: ex,why z?]
Marty Offline
Musa: Belize Bank Will Accept Land for Universal's Debt
posted (December 12, 2006)

By now you know of government's plans to amalgamate the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and Universal Health Services. Government will take control of two thirds of Universal and in so doing it'll be taking on the $32 million which Universal owes to the Belize Bank and on which there is a sovereign guarantee attached. Universal owes the Development Finance Corporation another $12 million. So how will the merger work? Well the information released so far has been vague and broad. The devil is in the details they say and today in his first interview about the merger - Prime Minister Said Musa said that Belizeans won't have to pay for the $32 million owed to the Belize Bank. Why not? Musa told Keith Swift that the Belize Bank has agreed to accept land to cover the debt.
Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Prime Minister
"The proposal, as I have seen it, will result in first of all the DFC getting back some of its money. The debt with the Belize Bank will be squared away by a land transfer which will involve that company or the company that they will be financing making a major investment in Belize of about $150 million."

Keith Swift,
Who will?

Rt. Hon. Said Musa,
"The Belize Bank. In other words the government will not have to pay out any money in order to acquire the Universal facility, two thirds of it anyway."

Keith Swift,
So you're saying that in place of the money that Universal owes the Belize Bank, government is going to give the Belize Bank land?

Rt. Hon. Said Musa,
"The government will take over the debt, if you like, and instead of paying cash for it, they will be a land transfer which will involve another major investment, private sector investment in the country of Belize. The advantage of the government doing it this way is that if we were to leave things to just fall apart and Universal went into bankruptcy, the Belize Bank would end up with Universal and the people will be no better off."

Keith Swift,
But won't concede that Universal should not have been given a sovereign guarantee?

Rt. Hon. Said Musa,
"Well you can go back over the past as much as you like. What I am saying is that we are converting a situation now into a positive. It will bring greater healthcare for the people of Belize."

Keith Swift,
But it could have been prevented.

Rt. Hon. Said Musa,
"Well you want to get an argument. I am telling you what is the situation now and where we are going with it."

Keith Swift,
So what is Belize Bank going to do with the land they will be receiving?

Rt. Hon. Said Musa,
"I am just saying that they will make a substantial investment, I am told it will be as much as a $150 million investment in a hotel project in Belize."

Keith Swift,
Where is the land located?

Rt. Hon. Said Musa,
"It will be North Ambergris."

Musa wouldn't state the size or value of the land on Northern Ambergris Caye. The medical staff at the KHMH have voiced their opposition to the plan and will be meeting with the Minister of Health on the issue later this week.

Find this article at: http://www.7newsbelize.com/archive/12120601.html

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#222905 - 12/13/06 08:07 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC land? [Re: Marty]
zubasky Offline
anyone here ever been a patient at Karl Huesner?

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#222908 - 12/13/06 08:13 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC land? [Re: zubasky]
dabunk Online   content
Did not social security get ripped off buying a large tract of land there as well a couple of years ago?

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#222938 - 12/13/06 10:07 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC lan [Re: dabunk]
Chris Offline
It is an outrage.

In the meantime, go to the San Pedro Daily http://www.sanpedrodaily.com/ page and scroll down the page to look at a letter about a subject that has got most thinking people hopping mad on the island. Seems like the government can take care of their hacks at our expense but can't do their jobs at our expense.


Edited by Chris (12/13/06 10:07 PM)

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#222939 - 12/13/06 10:27 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC lan [Re: Chris]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
PUP = Pick Ur Poison
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#222940 - 12/13/06 10:33 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC lan [Re: Chris]
shuffles Offline
Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Prime Minister
"The proposal, as I have seen it, will result in first of all the DFC getting back some of its money."

I'M CONFUSED!!!!!

But according to Dr. Lizarraga, the DFC funds never came through, and so the loan stayed with the Belize Bank, which capped it at $17 million.

WHO'S LYING?
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#222953 - 12/13/06 10:57 PM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC lan [Re: shuffles]
elbert Offline
This is scary! Remember ministers in Belize have the power to ‘dereserve’ reserved land. That is to say that if the minister sees fit he/she can sell/trade/give lands set aside for nature reserves to private interest.
Or by comparison one could say, if the president of the United States wanted to sell Yosemite Park to The McDonalds corp. so they could erect a golden arch over Old Faithful to get sprayed ever hour by the Geyser he could not, but under Belize law the Minister could do something equally as vile. Remember that the North Ambergris land owned by GOB is called Bacalar Chico.
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http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#222981 - 12/14/06 02:03 AM Re: GOB bails out Universal Health Svcs for AC lan [Re: elbert]
shuffles Offline
OMG...I wasn't even thinking of that...was thinking about those family plots that haven't been inhabited for long time.....geez..Bacalar Chico didn't even cross my mind.......
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