MoF releases Nu 18 mn to avoid legal suit by Bangkok hospitals

Ministry says that it will release money for unpaid bills but will have to be refunded by ‘memory loss officer’ Chenda Topgay

The ministry of finance (MoF) recently released 13mn bhat or Nu 18mn as funds for outstanding medical bills in Bangkok pertaining to the former head of Chancery, Chenda Topgay’s case.

This amount will be routed through the Bhutan embassy in Bangkok.

According to the finance ministry, this step was taken in order to save the country’s image.

“The hospitals in Bangkok was going to sue the royal government of Bhutan for the outstanding bills that had not been cleared, so in order to save face, the ministry on behalf of Chenda Topgay has released the fund,” said the head of the administrative and finance division (AFD), MoF, Sonam Wangdi.

However, he said, the amount will have to be refunded by Chenda Topgay.

Currently, the finance ministry is waiting for the fund status statement from the embassy.

Meanwhile, Chenda Topgay, on his completion of his term at the embassy, was transferred to back to the foreign ministry in Thimphu as a protocol officer.

He joined the office on September 12, 2011, but, after reporting to the ministry, he stayed on leave, and then on December 1, 2011, he was suspended by the ministry.

The Bangkok embassy case surfaced in 2010 when the Bangkok hospitals stopped taking in VIP government patients on credit as the hospitals were asking for cash payments in advance.

It was found that more than 13mn Bhatt had been unsettled in various hospitals. The bills meant for government patients included several private individuals.

 

Chenda Topgay was in charge of the special medical budget in the embassy sent by the government to the embassy for treatment of VIP or Kidu patients. He was supposed settle the bills and submit the accounts.

In the meantime Chenda suffered an apparent memory loss around the same time and was hospitalized.

He claimed that due to his illness he was unable to submit the accounts in time consequently resulting in default of payment to the hospitals.

Chenda Topgay had claimed that earlier even before his memory loss he was not enough time to work out the accounts and bills.

The government forwarded the case to the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) in late November 2011.

According to the foreign ministry; Chenda Topgay had been given ample opportunity to settle the matter by way of accounts or refund the unspent balance, but, failed to do so, which was why the ministry had to forward the case to the ACC.

MoF AFD, Sonam Wangdi said that according to his knowledge, the embassy officials were still working on the verification of the outstanding bills, some of which has been cleared, “we still don’t know if the amount will be less or whether it will be more, we will have to wait and see,” he said.

The Bangkok Embassy report will be one of the cases that will be submitted in the upcoming session of the parliament in the form of audit annual report.

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8 comments

  1. MoF releases Nu 18 mn to avoid legal suit by Bangkok hospital

    what a headline totally different from the subject

  2. this is really confusing and unprofessional..c’mon “THE BHUTANESE”

  3. what happend to the article..??

  4. tashi wangmo please proof read this article there are grammatical mistakes. For.eg. “Chenda Topgay had claimed that earlier even before his memory loss he was not enough time to work out the accounts and bills”. 

  5. According to the MOF AFD, even after one year, they are yet to verify the bills, the fact that it is taking so long to accomplish such a simple task as verifying of bills only points to a massive cover up exercise. I won’t be surprised then, that after all this drama, the officer in question is given a clean chit and as of now, the way things have been handled, such a scenario seems more and more likely. If however, such a thing were to actually happen, it would only raise more questions than answers!

    Also, the irony of all this would not be lost on many, as the officer in question has now been finally suspended, mind you, not for misappropriating Nu.18 million of medical funds but for actually not reporting for his duties after being transferred back to Thimphu. 

    The pampered people at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs really need to buck up.

  6. My personal feeling is every system has it’s loop holes and draw backs. It is up to the people working within the system to make the system work by blocking the holes as much as possible..
    “What man is a man,  if he doesn’t try n make the system in which he works better.”
    Sadly in Bhutan we have more individual taking advantage of these holes and very few who try to block those holes.  No wonder country is doing not so well at this point of time. Had we been fortunate to have more of the later group i’m sure our country wouldn’t be doing badly at this point of time.
    god bless Bhutan…

  7. Its all because of the pampered elites and the corrupt practices where the sons and daughters of the the influential people were given jobs au the MoFA. The so called elites have robbed Bhutan so much. 

  8. When such huge amount was released to an official, the head of office is required to ask for statement of accounts for adjustment of advances taken by an official. The head of office whoever may be should be accountable partially. The Budget should not have been released in the first intance. This is serious lapses and should be brought to task.

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