One of the most notable facts brought out amid the SI amendment is that the Director of Health Services was never consulted. As a matter of fact, as you have heard, Dr Manzanero had only heard of it when our newsroom sought comment from him on the matter. Yesterday we brought you the views of Attorney Audrey Matura who told our newsroom that the amendment was in contravention of the rights of the patients and was unacceptable. Earlier today we spoke with Senator for the private sector, Mark Lizarraga who echoed Matura’s views, adding that this amendment is another instance where the government passes laws without consultation.
Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Business Community: “I was amazed that Dr.Manzanero said he first found out about this SI from you guys, from Love FM and that’s horrible isn’t it ? I mean here you have the person that’s the face of this campaign against COVID. A person that the Belizean public has learnt to listen to and has learned to respect for the most part in his positions and this is the face of COVID and he’s a member of the elite group that are trying to address the issues and you pass a law and you have not consulted with him, that to me smacks of arrogance. But again it is the way in which this administration feels that they could pass laws without consultation and we have been saying for a long time and especially in COVID we’ve been repeating it this is a time for partnerships, serious partnerships, serious consultation. You can’t take the attitude that Cabinet knows everything and Cabinet knows what’s best. That approach has been flawed for so long and it continues to remain flawed. It is a travesty in fact that we have people in our society that will not follow best practices and rules and laws, that is an issue we have so we need to be able to protect the public as best we can but I think we need to consult and have wide consultations when we’re seeking to come up with those answers and those solutions.”
Senator Lizarraga impressed that while there are occasions where extreme measures are sometimes needed there is also the need for consultation. This, he says is one element to processes that the current administration tends to forego on multiple occasions.
Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Business Community: “Why is this important? It’s because you see we have to take these draconian measures because we know that our health system cannot take the burden. We don’t have a health system and the health infrastructure that’s resilient enough to withstand a massive massive surge so we have to be extra careful, extra draconian, extra cautious and I’m not saying that is necessarily bad or necessarily good I’m saying it’s our reality. We have a health system that is lacking in many of the infrastructures that we need to be able to allow more cases so to speak. So we have to be very conservative, we have to be very conservative and in their earnest to protect us I guess they came up with this law without properly consulting in my view, without consulting with one of the persons that I think is an important player in this team supposedly if you have a team.”