Padre Billini board to be changed; government reaches new agreement with doctors’ association

Vice President Raquel Peña, who heads the Abinader administration Health Cabinet, presided over a meeting on the evening of Thursday, 28 July 2022, when the government and the Dominican Medical Association reached agreements. The meeting took place at the Presidential Palace after a clash on the day before between a protest walk head by the president of the Medical Association Dr. Seneb Caba and police that impeded the physicians from reaching the Presidential Palace.

Among the agreements, the Presidency agreed to change the board of the Padre Billini and Luis Eduardo Aybar public hospitals, which are finalizing their major renovations.

Dr. Senen Caba had publicly rejected the Abinader choice of the volunteer members of the Padre Billini board. The president of the CMD had protested that the government was choosing business people from what he called medical cluster for the board. Among the members of the board were Maria Isabel Teran de Bonetti and her husband Jose Miguel Bonetti Du-Breil. Both have been mentioned in the Medusa corruption case regarding major government spearheaded in the Medina administration from the Attorney General Office soon to be heard in courts. The husband and wife couple are the shareholders of Serviamed, a major medical supplier to governments since 2013.

In an earlier report, the muckraking news media, Somos Pueblo had revealed that Serviamed despite being mentioned in the Medusa investigations, had already benefitted from RD$2.7 million in contracting by the Abinader administration. Somos Pueblo joined Dr. Senen Caba of the CMD and protested that on 1 July 2022, the Abinader administration had named Maria Isabel de Teran de Bonetti the director of planning and development of the volunteers committee of the Padre Billini Public Hospital. Her husband, Jose Miguel Bonetti was named director of the committee.

Dr. Caba had complained that the government had given in to pressures from business, financial and touristic sectors that want to control part of the Padre Billini hospital in the Colonial City. He said the volunteers board was not made up of philanthropic ladies, but rather the government had appointed representatives of health clusters, medical supplies and persons who had the stigma of corruption with ties to the Medusa profiteering case. “And this type of persons are those that the government wants to ensure that the physicians are honest,” Dr. Caba had complained to the press.

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1 August 2022