And while the KHMH is on its way to revamping and reforming its administration, the Ministry of Health seems to be having some struggles of its own. President of the Public Service Union (PSU), Dean Flowers has brought to the forefront, some allegations of corruption within the ministry. Flowers says the Public Service Ministry and the Prime Minister need to urgently intervene in making changes within the Ministry of Health.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “Outside of all these disunity and mismanagement that we’re seeing there is also allegations of corruption or continued corruption within the Ministry of Health. There’s the allegation of the Minister’s son being issued a government fuel card, there is allegation of finance officers having removed Cuban brigade nurses out of one house to place them in their own houses, these are real allegations and these are real information that we have in our possession and so I would like to call on the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance. I know that an internal auditor was recently appointed in the Ministry of Finance that internal auditor or the Auditor General’s Ministry or department needs to get into the Ministry of Health to get a grip on what’s happening there both from an administrative standpoint and I think the Ministry of Public Service has their job cut out as well to look at that administrative standpoint there. We know that Dr.Mendez has also usurped her authority in believing that she can appoint another person beside the acting Director of Lab Services. The Ministry of Public Service has already appointed somebody there via the commission, she does not have that authority. So everybody within this administration or within certain departments of this administration and specifically within the Ministry of Health believes that they can do what it is that they want. And so it is my hope that the Prime Minister would take these issues seriously and understand that he’s dealing with the health of this nation and that changes needs to come and that changes need to come before hopefully before the week is out.”
With the PSU calling for Minister Chebat to be removed, Love News asked President Flowers if they are following suit with the opposition who just called for the resignation of Chebat in yesterday’s press conference. Flowers says he is not echoing any sentiment of the opposition as they too had failed the Belizean people.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “I certainly do not wish to echo anything coming from the UDP. I think that public officers work equally under dire strain and working conditions under Pablo Marin. It was a mess. It was the same chaos and mismanagement and allegations of corruption where pharmaceutical procurement was concerned. So nothing has changed and so I certainly do not wish to be echoing or to be considered as echoing anything coming from the opposition because during their tenure for twelve years the Ministry of Health was and continues to be the worst ran ministry in this country. So I make no apology to say that a lot of nonsense happened under Pablo Marin and his CEO at least the last CEO because I think that Dr.Figueroa tried but under Dr.Gough I cannot say that the union is pleased with the way how many of the issues affecting public officers were handled and that is the reason why there is a lot of disunity even in terms of the situation of the DHS where he himself was accused of micromanaging and not being fair in the manner in which he treated with staff. Again these are administrative issues, these are not issues that as a union we can go in and tackle these are issues that the Ministry of Public Service needs to put its foot down.”
As we noted, the incidents cited by President Flowers are allegations that the PSU is currently investigating.