|‘PGB-policy saves 1 million’|
|Thursday, 21 February 2013 09:05|
WILLEMSTAD — Last year Bureau Medical Insurance (BZV) had a Personal Budget (PGB) to let forty senior citizens, requiring medical care, stay in their own environment. On an annual basis this would have saved 1 million guilders. However, whether this PGB-policy will be continued is uncertain with the integration of BVZ and SVB in the basic medical insurance (bvz).BZV-member of the board, Milton Yarzagaray, stated this on being asked. The Parliament adopted a motion Tuesday afternoon for a factual inquiry into the pursued policy of BVZ and the Special Medical Insurance. The Parliament wants institution Government Accountants Bureau (Soab) to conduct a quick scan as soon as possible. This is related to the ZenCity project, which was initially meant for handicapped tourists but changed to a hospital function later on. Under former minister of Health, Jacinta Scoop-Constancia (MFK), one aimed to purchase ZenCity as central old people’s and nursing home. 100 Million guilders from the AVBZ-fund was to be used for this. Scoop had even been prepared to give the owner an 11-million guilder non refundable deposit even before a Due Diligence had been carried out. However, the owner only wanted to do this on his own terms.
Eventually the project didn’t go through. Not only because of aforementioned reasons. The location and residences were deemed suitable for the psycho-geriatric elderly. There was a huge risk that the swimming pools on the premises would overflow with downpours because the drainage is too small and not constructed according to the plan submitted to Public Works.
Together with other matters, like the conflict of interest when the BZV appointed an indication committee that was to monitor the implementation of the AVBZ, led current minister Ben Whiteman to suggest an inquiry into the policy of BVZ. Moreover, he wants a better policy on treating the elderly. According to Whiteman, nowadays the choice to move these elderly from their familiar surroundings to an old people’s home is made too often and too quickly. “If you go to the activities center for senior citizens in Soto you will see it’s always busy there. These people are in the prime of their life. Their grandchildren visit them in the holidays. They learn for example how to bake Pan Sera according to the traditional methods. Those children don’t even know how to hold a weapon to attack a senior citizen”, said Whiteman.
According to Yarzagaray, the PGB-project ran from September to December last year. It regarded forty people, who required and were given home care. “A client in an institution costs 5000 guilders per month but with a PGB it costs maximum 3000 guilders including the home care. This is a saving of 2000 guilders x 40 x 12 = 1 million guilders per year. This is the policy that BVZ had wanted to pursue, but it requires people to implement and monitor it. We don’t know if the SVB wants to continue this policy and eventually it’s the government that decides.”
The motion for the quick scan at the BZV was adopted with eighteen votes in favor (including those from the MFK) and three votes against (PAR). Scoop-Constancia also voted in favor. “Let there be clarity; I haven’t done anything wrong.” The PAR stated to remain consequent. “We won’t participate in hunting people”, said Omayra Leeflang.
Birgen di Rosario
In the Parliamentary meeting of Tuesday, Minister Whiteman mentioned that the same person of Zorg & Zon, the owner of ZenCity, also had conducted a research into institution Birgen di Rosario. That institution is in charge of (psycho-geriatric) elderly. Due to that research the number of clients have supposedly doubled, which means more costs for the AVBZ. Director of Birgen di Rosario, Ed Eleonora, contests this. “The number of clients hasn’t changed, but the people are getting older, their health often fails and this leads to a different status.” The institution won three cases against the government on the tariffs used, which tariffs are now too low. They even allowed imposing a fine. However, after consultation with Social Affairs, Health and Institution Government Accountants Bureau (Soab), it was decided to investigate the situation. For this a validated system from the Netherlands was used. The report that followed was also considered valid by Soab. That report mentioned how many clients fall under the AVBZ, something Whiteman alluded to. That someone from Zorg & Zon was charged with the investigation and had a link with ZenCity doesn’t change anything, according to Eleonora. “The system is validated and not simply applied.”