|Plasterk: Subsidy procedure for Jellinek was correct|
|Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:53|
THE HAGUE — The starting up phase of the Jellinek Retreat Clinic on Curaçao had proceeded according to the rules. No mistakes were made with granting the subsidy, nor were there any complaints about the quality of the care or temporary stay of Kurá Hulanda-guests in the clinic. Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, wrote this in reply to questions from the Lower Chamber.By our correspondent
Last month Lower Chamber member Lea Bouwmeester (PvdA) requested clarity on the relation between Kurá Hulanda and Jellinek Retreat, which was realized with funds from the Netherlands from the Plan Collaboration Netherlands Antilles (PSNA), following reports that part of the subsidy was originally meant for Kurá Hulanda that guests from the hotel could also stay overnight in the clinic, and that the quality of the care was lacking. Especially health inspector Jan Huurman had expressed severe criticism.
Plasterk only replied to questions up to the starting up period of the cline – from 2007 to 2010. “I can’t comment on the period after the subsidy course under PSNA was stopped. (…) On the question whether guests of Kurá Hulanda were accommodated at Jellinek Retreat I can only state that to my understanding this was not the case during the PSNA-phase”, he wrote. In the first period the Dutch government hadn’t received any complaints about the quality of the care. It was up to the local authorities to monitor the quality of care, he wrote.
Kurá Hulanda had no shares in Jellinek Retreat and the owners of both entities were different so in that respect Kurá Hulanda had no direct benefit of the subsidy, Plasterk wrote. “
“Kurá Hulanda profited indirectly of the project though as renter of the building as the domicile of Jellinek. As external party, Kurá Hulanda had paid part of the interior of the clinic for which it had the specific knowledge”, he wrote. The Dutch Jellinek Clinic played a role in applying for subsidy and subsequently as co-shareholder in the Antillean Joint Venture that implemented the project. Other shareholders were doctor Cai Winkel and Wolff Communication Management.
According to the minister, the subsidy was granted in conformity with the rules. 90.000 Euros was indeed added to the budget for Jellinek Retreat, an amount that was originally meant as bonus for Kurá Hulanda, but rejected by the PSNA. As long as changes in the budget are motivated and don’t exceed the maximum amount available, there is some flexibility in subsidies for good and services, the so-called hardware-budget, because projects don’t always proceed according to plan owing to external circumstances such as price increases. “Considering the aforementioned I conclude that the request for subsidy, including the added 90.000 euros for the extra costs in the hardware-budget, had proceeded correctly”, the minister wrote.
Plasterk concludes the grant of subsidy had proceeded correctly and that it wasn’t possible to reclaim money but that the economy and population of Curaçao wouldn’t probably have benefited more if the money was used for a different purpose.