Philipsburg:--- Minister of Health Cornelius de Weever called an emergency meeting with the newly appointed Supervisory Board of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) on Saturday and asked them to make their positions available to the shareholder representative.
SMN News learnt that the board of the St. Maarten Medical Center appointed five persons to the board after its former chairman/consultant Clarence Richardson was forced to resign. A reliable source informed SMN News that the St. Maarten Medical Center dispatched a letter to the Minister of Health informing him that Richardson stepped down after realizing that he reached the statutory age of 70 and Mr. Ruben Essed and Robert Jan James were newly appointed.
It should be noted that Ruben Essed was appointed as legal expertise and vice chairman of the board while he is currently serving as the legal adviser to the Council of Ministers, a clear conflict of interest. Mr. Edward Benjamin holds the position of business and managerial expertise, Mr. Izzy Gerstenbluth medical expertise and interim chairman, Robert Jan James expertise on re-organization processes and management while Sixto Peters has been appointed as the financial management expertise.
SMN News also learnt that the Minister of Health sent the SMMC numerous letters informing them that their supervisory board was defunct since its former chairman Robert Velasquez resigned in October 2011. The source said that there were two positions on the board that were vacant and the SMMC made no attempt to fill the positions based on good governance. In one of the letters the Minister sent to SMMC he made clear that he is of the opinion that the Corporate Governance Council headed by Louis Duzanzon should be the ones to screen the persons that are to be appointed to the SMMC board. He further explained the SMMC outgoing board that he believes that the shareholder needs to have at least one person sitting on the supervisory board.
The source further explained that the Minister even dispatched a letter to the Corporate Governance Council requesting their advice on the articles of incorporation which the SMMC uses to appoint board members but to date the Minister of Health has not received a response from the Council regarding the articles of incorporation of the SMMC. In the SMMC articles of incorporation, article 9 section 2 allows the supervisory board to make a binding nomination of the candidate they wish to have appointed. This means that the binding nomination has to be accepted by the shareholder representative who is the Minister of Health. The same article in sub section "c" provides the Minister with the possibility to appoint a candidate if the Supervisory Board fails to do so within a specific period of time. However, if the shareholder (government) decides to appoint someone then that person would have to be screened by the Corporate Governance Council.