Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Deysi Mendez, may have misled the media in an interview done earlier this week. In the interview with a local media house the CEO indicated that the Director of Health Services Dr Marvin Manzanero had accepted an offer to head the HIV Unit which is tantamount to a demotion. According to CEO Mendez this agreement was made before Dr Manzanero fell ill in December. She said it came about when she approached him to inform him that the ministry will be restructuring.
Dr.Deysi Mendez, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Health and Wellness: “Dr.Marvin reported to the Ministry of Health on Monday. He has been here since then. Before Dr.Marvin went off on sick leave he was informed of the Ministry’s vision of restructuring and strengthening the Ministry of Health and also strengthening or restructuring the part of the wellness because now as you know we are now not only the Ministry of Health as was before but the Ministry of Health and Wellness. So before going he was given the information of the possibility of where he would go upon his return after he would have returned to work. Dr.Marvin Agreed, Dr.Marvin was aware of the changes that would be taking place and he had even agreed of taking the full seventy days that were given to him upon his departure proceeding from sick leave into holiday which he had agreed because he felt that he needed some time off. So that’s the part of not having clarity I wouldn’t agree because he was informed before leaving on to sick leave.”
The post of Director of Health Services is a permanent post and any changes to the post or the person holding the post would have to go through the Public Services Commission, specifically the Job Classification Unit. None of this was done. Reports have also surfaced that Dr Manzanero has since taken up his post as the head of the HIV Unit which we were told is very much inaccurate. CEO Mendez went on to allude that Dr Manzanero is not qualified for the post of Director of Health Services, but rather is more suitable to work in the area of HIV/AIDS response.
Dr.Deysi Mendez, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Health and Wellness: “Dr.Manzanero holds a post as an established Director of Health Services. The thing is that what we’re going through now is that we need to place our staff member and key staff members in places and positions that would be very effective and efficient for the response as the Ministry of Health. Dr.Manzanero upon his return had a meeting with myself, met with the minister and was explained on the way forward and which he had agreed that the options that were laid out where need was is in the response to HIV and in our approach as or need of a medical internist. Dr.Manzanero agreed into taking either position mainly taking the position of the coordinator of the HIV response, HIV and TB response. Really what we were in conversation is he staying in Belmopan or going to Belize City where he the need of coordination with the VTC clinic is also needed. I mean this was an agreement that he made in the office and accepting the change. He had accepted this change before going on leave. Dr.Manzanero is not an epidemiologist, Dr.Manzanero has experience in these areas that we offered him to work areas that are needed to be strengthened, areas that we need to also be part of the response that we provide to this country. I wouldn’t say, and I totally disagree on the comments of him being just collateral damage.”
Love News has been able to confirm that prior to falling ill, seniors at the Ministry of Health had approached him with two offers of demotion which he had not accepted, but rather had told them to put the offers in writing for him to review. The written offers are yet to be completed up to news time this afternoon. Today marks day-five that the Director of Health Services Dr Marvin Manzanero has returned to work at the Ministry of Health in Belmopan. It also marks the 5th day that he has not been able to access his office as the DHS nor has he been given any official document or notification as to the status of his employment with government. Our newsroom understands that that the Association of Professional Senior Managers (APSSM) has taken on his case, referring to it as a major injustice. Dr Manzanero reports to work every day, as he has been advised to, but he has no access to the office of the Director of Health Services, and has been forced to sit among the pool of secretaries. In an interview earlier with the President of the APSSM, Sharon Frazer, she indicated that any transfer of Dr Manzanero within the ministry would be a demotion unless he is given the CEO position.