Over the past week, we have been reporting on an alleged scandal that saw the Ministry of Health proposing to build a new Central Medical Store in Belmopan using money from the NHI reserve fund, which is managed by Social Security Board, without even informing SSB of their plans. Last we heard on the scandal, the PUP had alleged that a concerned person from inside the Ministry of Finance leaked the memo, and they demanded that the Prime Minister provide some much needed answers. The Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, explained to the media that the Government of Belize provides funds for NHI, hence, he did not see it as a problem to use the funds to build the warehouse.
Pablo Marin – Minister of Health: “That is not Social Security funds, that is the Government of Belize via SSB. We have about three million dollars right now in reserves so what we wanted to do when we did all of that consultation and all what we needed for us to be able to get the funds we asked the Prime Minister can we use the funds. We did not go and say that we wanted the funds. We wanted to find a source where we could do a new CMS. I am still looking at funds for me to be able to do that warehouse in Belmopan and I will continue to look at it because I believe that we are supposed to stop paying rent and have our own facility.”
Marin noted that the Ministry of Health is spending six thousand dollars to rent the building that presently house CMS in Ladyville. He also mentioned that the ministry would try to source the funds for the new warehouse elsewhere