An internal memo from the Director of Health Services took flight yesterday and raised concerns for many. The document addressed to the Regional Management Team stated, in part, quote, “Given the recent issue of how Covid-19 has evolved for the Belize context, we are hereby asking all health staff across all levels to suspend all their private practice services effective immediately as this curtails the risk of exposure in terms of COVID-19.” End of quote. The Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero issued a clarification on the leaked memo explaining that the document is an internal communication and is not applicable to anyone outside the public sector.
Dr Manzanero noted that the contents of the memo had been discussed with ALL four health regions in prior virtual meetings (at least twice) so this was simply placing in writing what had been requested of all. In addition, the Director noted that the sole content of the memo is to decrease exposure of staff to COVID-19, so that by decreasing exposure in the private sector, we are seeking to have a full cadre of staff responsive to the demands of the public sector. He reiterated that this memo is not applicable to those working exclusively in the private sector.