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The Grand Council of Waldensians is turning the page on the difficult gestation of the Riviera-Chablais Hospital (HRC) by Renaz. Despite the divergent readings and assessments between the left and the right, the deputies accepted on Tuesday the report of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CEP) on the financial disaster of the Valdo-Valais establishment.

The debates will have lasted the entire day of the weekly session of the Grand Council. The report of the parliamentary inquiry committee was awaited. A rare device in the canton, requested a year ago by the right, to clarify the management of the Intercantonal Hospital, in particular on the financial side. The deputies finally accepted the document (79 yes, 31 no and 28 abstentions) before proceeding with the vote on the end of the work and the commission’s mission, unanimously by voters minus three abstentions.

After eleven months of investigation, no tort, embezzlement, fraud or anything criminal was found. However, many shortcomings were noted and led the UIP to issue 18 recommendations.

In the discussions, the lines have changed little since last year and the vote for the creation of the CEP, accepted, we remember it with a vote. The right congratulates the report and its usefulness, the left still considers the commission’s use disproportionate.

“Tragedy”, the word was used in the Chamber by the leader of the UDC group, Yvan Pahud:

The president of PS Valdenses, Jessica Jaccoud, recalls that public funds were not misused and speaks of this hospital as a source of pride:

18 recommendations

The CEP’s 18 recommendations spare no one. Department of Health and Social Action, State Council, Grand Council, responsibilities are shared. One word stands out, however: passivity. In particular that of the government, which was slow to react, but also that of Parliament itself. He is accused of being negligent in this file.

The Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry also raised interference from the Finance Committee and the Department of Finance. A member of the Finance Committee, PLR deputy Alexandre Berthoud defends himself:

The CEP report, dissected by elected officials, also highlighted problems on the side of private foundations supporting the five pre-existing hospitals. In the process of liquidation, they have not yet transferred their assets to the now only Foundation for the support of the HRC. Capitalized but unused money, he criticized the left.

Overall, no one disputed the validity of the Rennaz Hospital’s existence. The purpose of the CEP was to analyze what had failed in the past to better face the future and make the necessary corrections, the elected officials said in essence. I’HRC “even reinforced spring” of the investigation, estimated PLR Catherine Labouchère. “It’s time to draw a line and turn the page,” encouraged Libre Jean-Louis Radice.

The Valais deputies refused to investigate the HRC, of which Valais owns a quarter. What should be an issue during future inter-cantonal dossier discussions? Not to Pierre Zwahlen, chairman of the foreign affairs thematic committee:

The Minister of Health, Rebecca Ruiz, in turn, refuted certain criticisms of the Council of State. She recalled the autonomous status of the institution governed by public law, which is therefore responsible for its own management. She also noted that the municipality took immediate corrective action and ordered two audits.

In approving the CEP report, Parliament also accepted the 18 accompanying recommendations, including nine for the government, four for the Grand Council and three for theHRC.

They concern capacity building, details and clarification of the roles of the various parties, the requirement of financial plans, improvements in communication, etc. Deputies are invited to implement them through interpellations, postulates or motions addressed to the government.

Robin Jaunin with Keystone-ATS

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