Vatican City

Pope calls for quick solution to hospital financial crisis

Priest faces fraud changes at debt-ridden IDI hospital

Pope calls for quick solution to hospital financial crisis

Vatican City, April 10 - Pope Francis says he hopes that a solution can soon be found to the financial crisis at a debt-ridden church-run hospital company now under criminal investigation. In an audience Wednesday morning with staff from the Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata (IDI), Francis said he hoped for a quick resolution "as soon as we can find a positive solution" to the crisis. Last Thursday, a priest and two businessmen were placed under house arrest in a probe into alleged corruption involving as much as 14 million euros at the IDI. Father Franco Decaminada, former managing director of the hospital, which that runs a dermatology clinic in Rome and another near Viterbo, has been accused of issuing false invoices and misappropriation. Decaminada, who ran the company until 2011, is also suspected of embezzling four million euros out of the IDI, which is now facing up to 600 million euros in debts. Police last week also seized a property in Tuscany reportedly acquired with money diverted from the IDI's accounts. They also carried out 14 searches in Rome and other cities.

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