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Discussion - Purchase of a building adjacent to the MBS headquarters

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -The reconstituted Medical Benefits Board of Control held its first meeting on Wednesday 13th May, 2009 at 2:00 pm in the Medical Benefits Scheme boardroom. The issue of the purchase of a building adjacent to the MBS headquarters on Nevis Street was discussed. In light of certain information circulated in the media, the Medical Benefits Board of Control advises accordingly:

  • As early as May 2007, the Medical Benefits Board of Control began discussions with Messer's Salem and Elias Hadeed to rent the ground floor of the property referred to as the Hadeed Building
  • By August 2007, while negotiating the rental of the ground floor, the Board initiated discussions with the Messer's Salem and Elias Hadeed for the purchase of the entire property.
  • In August 2008, the Board finalized the rental agreement for the ground floor of the building.
  • After several months of study and reports to include professional valuations and technical advice, the Board formally decided at its meeting of November 12, 2008 to purchase the property and a parcel of land adjacent to the Medical Benefits Scheme Pharmacy Building.
  • In January 2009, the Board finalized the Purchase Agreement for the building and adjacent parcel of land which was drawn up by its legal counsel.

The following points should be carefully noted:

  • Under Section 4 of the Medical Benefits Act, the Board is capable of purchasing or acquiring property and as such made an informed and independent decision to make this capital investment as a part of its investment portfolio and to facilitate the growth of the MBS and the services it offers to its beneficiaries.
  • Although the Medical Benefits Scheme has occupied the rented ground floor since January 2009, the contractual purchasing terms for the entire property have not been fully executed and so MBS does not own the property.
  • At no time did the Medical Benefits Board of Control or any of its officers enter into any discussions with the Government, any Minister or agent of the government or the United Progressive Party (UPP) to occupy the first floor of the building as its campaign headquarters. Further, at no time did Messer's Salem & Elias Hadeed discuss with the Board or required the Board's concurrence on the usage of the building by the UPP since the Hadeeds are sole owners of the property. The Medical Benefits Board of Control had absolutely no prior information about any other tenant and up to today May 14, 2009 does not know the terms of use of the building by the UPP.

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