Marianna Ivanova
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Minister of health in Belize Pablo Marin

As Belize strives to develop a strong engine of sustainable economic growth, it is the role of the Ministry of Health to ensure a better quality of life for all Belizeans. The Ministry's role is to maintain an environment that is conducive to good health and wellness within a framework that ensures equity, quality and accessibility.
Our community-based programs must function pro-actively to promote prevention. Our medical services must operate within national established standards, norms and protocols to improve the services provided to customers.

The Ministry of Health is presently undergoing a reform aimed at improving its effectiveness and efficiency. The Ministry is focusing its energies on three major areas: Health Reform, Quality Improvement and Caring for its Care Providers. We envision a national health care system which is based upon:

  • equity
  • affordability
  • accessibility
  • quality
  • sustainability

in effective partnership with all levels (sectors) of government and the rest of society in order to develop and maintain an environment conducive to health.

Pablo Marin minister of health Belize

The public health system in Belize is way past the point of entering the emergency room, past the point of being listed as critical, past the point of having no pulse and can now only be declared as FLATLINE, with little hope of resuscitation.

The Minister of Health is a hopeless incompetent who can barely string two phrases together coherently, much less administer to the entire public health system in Belize. Health is perhaps the most critical sector in Belize, right up there with education. To ensure that quality and affordable health care is accessible to Belizeans from all walks of life across the country at all times is a daunting and formidable task. It requires some knowledge of the task at hand, the ability to command respect from and administer a large team of medical and technical personnel and an unrelenting commitment to ensuring that at all costs and at the very least, Belizeans must get the quality health care they deserve.

So the Prime Minister, soon after the UDP won elections in February of 2008, decided to appoint an electrician from Corozal, Pablo Marin, to take on this daunting task. That's right an electrician. To demonstrate his ability to handle the job and his commitment to health very early on, Pablo Marin made two decisive moves. He made his nephew the Chief of Staff at the Corozal Hospital, bypassing more than a few qualified medical practitioners with more than a decade of experience. Pablo's nephew, Nelson Marin, has not even received his medical degree and so is not licensed to practice medicine. Pablo's second move was to fire the Administrator of the Northern Regional Hospital, a career officer with a master's degree in Hospital Administration . Pablo replaced her with his cousin, who had previously managed a gas station in the Corozal Free Zone. His cousin, Lupe Longsworth, has a degree in hospitality management .

This information serves only as background and perhaps some insight into why our public health system is the way it is today. On June 25 th 2008, a news item carried on Channel 7 featured Minister of Health Pablo Marin's report card after five months in office. The story reads This afternoon Minister of Health Pablo Marin presented his first report card. He did it in the form of a 15 minute speech which was short on actual accomplishments but abundant with vision and direction ! More than 16 months later, there are still no actual accomplishments to speak of, the vision never did materialize and the direction can be aptly described as due South '

The dialysis situation in Belize is one of the darkest parts of an already horrific nightmare. The following in not politicking, but fact, and you can verify if you wish. Under the PUP, dialysis treatment for patients was subsidized. When the UDP came to power in February 2008, they immediately discontinued the policy, stating that they would subsidize only 20 patients, and then only for a limited time. So basically there is a list of 20 people who can access dialysis treatment. The rest who aren't so fortunate to make this limited list are forced to pay about $550 per session. For those required to take these treatments three times a week well, you do the math. The local news archives are filled with the tragic stories of those who could not afford the sessions and died. Go ahead check out the news archives. I didn't realize the depths of this tragedy until I did.

The news archives will also have the story of another tragedy, played out just this week. Apparently an organization called the World Organization of Renal Therapies (WORTH) offered Belize eight (8) haemodialysis machines which were to have been placed at the KHMH and La Loma Luz Hospital in the Cayo district. Get this these machines would have reduced the cost of dialysis from $550 per session to $8 per session. Talk about the gift of life, manna from heaven. Poor sick Belizeans able to afford life giving treatment and escape death. So what happened? Well, the Ministry of Health dropped the ball. It appears that WORTH has withdrawn the offer after the Ministry of Health failed to meet critical deadlines. Director of Health Services Michael Pitts claims that they were interested but were exploring the logistics. So because the Ministry of Health fell asleep at the wheel, more and more Belizeans will die simple as that. Unforgivable!

And there's moremuch more. There's the fact of 40 boxes of pre-natal vitamins left in a private home while pregnant mothers in the South are suffering from anemia. There's the unchecked and unprecedented outbreaks of swine flu, malaria, dengue and no swabs to testing, no medications to offer. There is the lack of basic equipment, basic medication. There's the death of the newborns amid allegations of negligence. There is the widespread corruption at the KHMH and in the purchasing of supplies. And there's the fact that absolutely nothing has been done to better the provision of health care in the country or to make it more affordable.

We needed a Minister of Health and we got an electrician who has no clue, none at all. And while the Minister languishes in the doldrums of ignorance, Belizeans are dying. What next? By: Mike Rudon Jr. 2009/10/23/flatline/

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map of regions Belize

Belize is divided into 6 districts :

These districts are further divided into 31 constituencies .


Last update: 13 June 2010
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