And while Hulse indicates that there is not much he can say on the matter, we went further to ask him if he would lobby for more monies to be invested into the health sector and diverted from other areas considering the recent negative light being shed on Belize’s health sector. While Minister Hulse agreed that the system needs to be improved, he did add that the onus is not only on Government.
“One of the things I have learnt from being a Minister in the Government of Belize and being responsible for the third largest budget and the largest ministry in sense is that it’s a complex system running down from the CEO down to the bottom in terms of government expenditure, government’s management of equipment, waste etc. and yes from a political point of view it will all be put on the shoulders of the Minister but I can tell you it’s a monumental task and the only thing I try to do in my Ministry is to encourage everybody that look, “we are all in this together, we are servants of the people of Belize. This is tax dollars it’s very sacred and so care of equipment, care of facilities, turning off the lights, turning off the air conditioner in the evening is the responsibility of everybody, it can’t only be put on the shoulder of the Minister.” The continued having to replenish and replace, I’ll give you an example; I drive a Mahindra pickup, it’s the second one in the country I think. It has 160,000 miles and it looks like I bought it last week it’s never had to be repaired more than the regular maintenance. I see a lot of those trucks already on the way side. It is how we drive them, how we manage them and how we utilize them and it’s all of our responsibility to realize that $800+ million dollars of a budget comes from us a small society and it has to be allocated in a manner to try to satisfy the needs of everywhere. The people on the streets are calling for Southern Operating Base, they want to expand the military, people are calling for more investment in education, more investment in health, fire, they’re calling for. The emergency services and NEMO don’t have enough equipment but there is a limited fund and government is taxing at the max it can 25% of income is already the max and so we are pushing to get additional investment to bring more revenue to government, to bring more foreign exchange in the country, all of these things take time.”