The Belize Medical and Dental Association expressed their frustration via a Press Release issued over the weekend condemning the abuse of Doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The release went ahead and added that the Doctors have been on the front line risking their lives, working long hours, giving up time with their family and children during this difficult time for the safety of our people and being repaid with ill-treatment. They recollected two instances, the first pertains to a medical doctor being transferred from his place of employment in Dangriga Town to Hopkins. Bearing in mind that this Doctor has been vocal since the beginning of the COVID pandemic about the deplorable conditions and the lack of resources that the healthcare providers were working within that region. Doctor Marvin Manzanero, commented on the issue today and stated that what was said in BDMA’s release was not the full story.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “This doctor was not actually transferred I think we have to make that very clear the doctor is being posted in Hopkins and that can happen because it serves kind of like the same catchment area and the basic example we can use is the San Ignacio Community Hospital that has doctors who are for the hospital or hired at the hospital but these doctors can be sent to rotate at the Benque Mopan Poly Clinic which is ten miles away, San Antonio Village now has a facility and Santa Elena Town. So any doctor because these three facilities don’t have a doctor assigned to them can be sent to give coverage in that area. It’s the same thing that can happen for the doctor that is in Dangriga anybody can be posted in Hopkins it’s ten miles away so that is where that is. I am aware of what the Belize Medical and Dental Association wrote in their release but that’s not entirely the way it happened. That decision was to move the doctor to Hopkins is part of the posting that can routinely be done. We were aware at headquarters so it’s not a decision that Doctora Gutierrez did on a personal note to send the doctor to Hopkins and that can be for a given amount of time, once his time is up somebody else can be sent that’s part of the routine and everybody who works in the public service knows that that can happen and it happens.”
The second instance was the Doctor being arrested for private practice when prohibited to do so. The release concluded by stating that the Association condemns that regulation in the Statutory Instrument as it goes against the very core of their profession which is to serve human beings in need.