Thursday, 19 October 2017 01:35:51 (AST)
 

National·News

‘Tremendous evidence of grave corruption’ at hospital — Cummings

Opposition spokesperson on health, Daniel Cummings, speaks at the press conference on Wednesday. (iWN photo)

Member of Parliament for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings, says he has “tremendous evidence of grave corruption” at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), the nation’s main healthcare facility.

The opposition New Democratic Party’s spokesperson on healthcare, said that the biggest thieves from the hospital are “high-ups” and “untouchables” in the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP), who are “protected” amidst their alleged crimes.

“My information tells me that most of the problems with theft are perpetrated by high-ups in the ULP and they are protected,” he told a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday.

“Those people who do it now, by and large, they are protected. They are the untouchables,” he told a press conference on Wednesday amidst increased focus, recently, on healthcare in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Cummings did not detail his claims, saying it is difficult to do so without identifying his source of information and the thieves.

“And at the appropriate time, not now. But I tell you, categorically, there is tremendous evidence of grave corruption in medication, in supplies, in all kinds of things at the hospital. Grave corruption.

“I have evidence. I can tell you categorically, I have seen it,” he said.

Cummings said he would not give details because “there are legal implications.

“I am not a lawyer, but I am advised… I cannot now give you that information but I tell you it is severe. It is severe. No wonder people can’t get what they want and they can’t touch those people. They are the untouchables in the party.”

Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. (iWN file photo)

The opposition lawmaker noted that he is 65 years old and has some experience in life.

“My conscience guides me. I come and I speak the facts as I know them, always. People may not like me for that but I stand by what I say and I would not say it unless I can back it up.”

He said persons who steal from the hospital “should be dealt with, across the board, regardless of their politics.

“… we see it in the public service. When people purchase things for $2 and sell it back to themselves for US$12, somebody goes and explains it away and they give them a higher job. Institutionalised corruption is what is rampant in this country. It is in ourselves, that we are suffering because of these institutionalised corruption acts.”

The former general manager of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) said that that state-owned company had a policy that forbade its staff from getting involved in politics because of the importance of the service it provides.

He said that when the NDP was in government, a young member of the CWSA’s staff went on television purporting to represent the youth arm of the NDP.

“I took a proposal to the board to discipline him, which was approved by the board, and he was severely disciplined for doing that, because the rule says, we agree with the union and everybody, when you’re in this water authority, you stay out of politics.

“You have your right to vote, you have your right to canvass with your family and so on, but you ain’t going on any political rostrum because everybody has to get water, in spite of politics.”

The MP said that when one looks at the amount of

materials and supplies that is donated to the MCMH and what the government puts in and one sees what the patients get, “you know there is haemorrhage, you know there is theft, you know that there is a lot of theft of material and supplies and any government would want to cut that out to make sure that the material and supplies go to patients in need and not to other people outside.”

He said that while the NDP was in office, the CWSA was able to keep water rates constant for 15 years even as the service continually improved because the company focussed on cutting out theft and corruption.

He noted that the CWSA had disconnected Carlyle Dougan, who was the attorney general at the time, for owing EC$3,000.

“He could pay and didn’t want to pay. He was the attorney general. He was disconnected because when you send those signals in the society, people will conform. But you must have a burning desire to enhance the level of service to the people. It’s not about victimisation.”

Cummings said that the ULP government’s priorities are warped and asking why would they want to spend what he said is hundreds of thousands of US dollars to hire lawyers to prevent the NDP from looking at the ballot boxes in the election petitions matter.

IWN Conversations

6 thoughts on “‘Tremendous evidence of grave corruption’ at hospital — Cummings

  1. Lostpet says:

    Wow! Looks like Cummings is fed-up with the ULP corruption and has decided to speak out. Unfortunately it is probably just “venting” and will not continue. Most governments get more corrupt the longer they stay in “power” or office but in a small country like ours we would like to see it end, as Singapore was able to do. Instead, unfortunately many countries like ours seem to exist on corruption and know no other way. It even becomes institutionalized. Government high-ups may even get such things as “Entertainment allowance” as a separate allocation on their paychecks so it does not look like they get such a high salary. Once corruption starts by any administration it always gets worse.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Tremendous rhetoric without a shred of factual evidence.

    • Lostpet says:

      If there is no lawsuit filed against him then you know it is true!

    • Lostpet says:

      Again, if the ULP does not file a lawsuit against Cummings then you know his allegations are true!

    • David you said that about the election fraud and are proved wrong.

      Let’s see what they have before you start pretending to be the all dancing and all singing PhD recipient who knows everything again. There are things that must wait before they can be completely exposed for a number of good reasons. You are so stupid that if everyone followed your methods the world would be ignorant of what is going on until it happens and is too late.

      I now understand why you are so nasty and it is because of the itch that you get from your haemorrhoids by failing to keep them regularly washed. You told us about them so I will not ‘pile’ it on. I can understand how that has seriously affected your particular lifestyle.

      I also ask if that may have any bearing on what you once wrote when you told us 95% of all that you write is BS. A self confession, like I sometimes ‘tell lies’. I suppose you are not up there with the worst of them but are getting close.

  3. Vinciman says:

    We all know ever since the ULP modernized the MCMH, and instituted the “Strategic Plan for Health 2007-2012”, under the caption, “A Healthy Vincentian Is A Wealthy Vincentian”, opposition members and supporters saw this as some election political gimmick, as always, and therefore went on the attack, making sure that things would never go smoothly at MCMH; a perpetually comfortably political tactic, especially of the NDP, even up to now; think AIA. Most of the thefts and destruction at the hospital, according to sources on the ground, are carried out by party supporters, especially NDP supporters, in a clandestine way, making it very difficult for the authorities to uncover and or apprehend these culprits; there seems to be some coordinated central planning and execution of these crimes by individuals who are getting their instructions from higher-ups in the party, a plague that has infected Vincy society on both sides, on the political front, (Party before Country) since Universal Suffrage. So, Daniel Cummings could talk all he want, but, who’s listening?

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