Earlier this month, Health and Wellness Minister Kevin Bernard told Love News that irregular practices continue within the health system. Minister Bernard explained that Belizeans who are looking to buy medication at a cheaper price at public health facilities are redirected to private clinics by pharmacists. The Minister also shared that some doctors knowingly send patients to private health clinics even though places like the KHMH or the NRH offer services the patient is looking for. Agreeing with the Minister is the President of the Public Service Union, Dean Flowers.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union (P.S.U): “We have doctors in the public sector who are practising privately. They are receiving a non-practice allowance but yet they practise privately. We have doctors in the public sector who run pharmacies out of their private practice so they divert, not only medication, but they divert patients to their private practice. These things are there, we know they exist. So it’s not only, perhaps the pharmacies that I would want for the Minister of Health to look into if it is that he believes that something might is not going on there. We need to put in place regulations, rules, laws that prohibits even the doctors from saying to patients, “I can’t attend to you the way I want here so come to my private practice.” Because they have already filled out an insurance form. These things are happening and we keep pretending that we’re not aware of them. We are pretending that we don’t know that when there is insurance involved, doctors are actually performing C-sections rather than natural delivery because the cost triples. These things are occurring and we, we’re ashamed or afraid to talk about them and we lack the political will to address them. So when I see the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister getting emotional and calling out a specific group or department, to me it’s just emotions. The problem is bigger than that.”