Virgin Islands Government Not Making Budget Funds Allotment To Hospitals
ST. CROIX — The territory’s hospitals, already struggling with various other financial woes — the hospitals owe the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority millions in unpaid power bills — have not received their budget allotment from the V.I. government in over a month, executives of the Schneider Regional Medical Center (SRMC) and the Juan F. Luis Hospital (JFL) said during a Committee on Government Affairs, Veterans, Energy and Environmental Protection Senate hearing, held in the Frits E. Lawaetz Conference Room here on Friday.
According to SRMC CEO Bernard Wheatley, the hospital has consistently received its budget allotment 6 to 8 weeks late for this fiscal year, which began on October 1, 2016.
“To date, SRMC has not received one penny of February’s allotment from the central government of the Virgin Islands, nor has it received one penny of March’s allotment,” Mr. Wheatley said. “SRMC is presently awaiting $3.9 million from February and $1.93 million from March. SRMC is desperately waiting to receive its allotments and is struggling to maintain operations and provide quality patient care.
Mr. Wheatley said the allocated funds are used to offset “the tremendous amount of uncompensated and undercompensated patient care that the organization provides,” which he says helps the hospital maintain its operations and keep its doors open.