Prime Minister John Briceno has thanked Dr Marvin Manzanero for his services. Over the weekend he spoke to Love News on the controversy surrounding the appointment of a new Director of Health Services.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “I know there had been some issues or some questions about Dr.Manzanero. I want to put on record my appreciation for the work that Dr.Manzanero did as the Director of Health Services when COVID was just coming to Belize. It was a time of great uncertainty and Dr.Manzanero tried his very best to be able to see how we’re going to fight this challenge or meet this pandemic and so I’m very grateful for the work that he has done but the Minister when we got into government felt that we need to do things a little bit different. The virus was getting out of control, it was climbing, it was already over 5,000 and felt that maybe Mr.Manzanero needed to go on holiday on long leave so he went on holiday and Dr.Melissa Diaz Musa to take over as an acting and we can see the results. Everybody can tell you that she has been doing an exceptionally good job with her team and have flatten the curve, right now we are under 200 from over 5,000 to under 200 so it is something we have to address and how best we can do that. I will sit down wit the minister in the coming week to discuss on how we can address this impasse between Dr.Manzanero and the Ministry of Health not that Melissa Musa – it’s not between them but it’s more at a managerial level; we’re going to address it but again I want to thank Dr.Manzanero for the extraordinary work that he did at the start of the pandemic.”
The matter continues to be a contentious one as the removal of Dr Marvin Manzanero as the DHS was not done in accordance with the existing regulations. President of the Association of Professional Senior Managers (APSSM), Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer also weighed in on the matter on Friday. She indicated that any transfer of Dr. Manzanero within the ministry would be a demotion unless he is given the CEO position. She added that any transfer within the ministry would have to go through the Public Services Commission, specifically the Job Classification Unit for any restructuring or redesignation.