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Oct 7, 2015

PUP Launches Health Plan

Today the People’s United Party launched its Manifesto on Health at Independence Hall in Belize City. The P.U.P., on an intensive run to elections in less than a month, says it plans to revitalize and rescue a health system in crisis after almost eight years of U.D.P. neglect, incompetence, inefficiency and corruption. Mike Rudon was there and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Flanked by doctors and candidates Lesbia Guerra and Francis Smith, PUP Leader Francis Fonseca introduced the party’s plan for the health system. That, of course, means that the PUP has to be victorious at the polls in twenty-eight days. Fonseca says that set against the backdrop of a crisis in health, the PUP plan is creative and critical.

 

Francis Fonseca,  PUP Leader

Francis Fonseca

“One of the greatest failures of this government…one of the greatest failures of Dean Barrow and his administration have been the absolute neglect and abandonment of our health system. Our people are dying…literally dying because of the incompetence of officials at the Ministry of Health, starting at the very top. I have said it repeatedly. It is an absolute disrespect to the Belizean people to have Dean Barrow put in place and have in place Pablo Marin as the Minister of health in this country, and when Belizeans go to the polls on November fourth we have to keep in mind that whether or not on November fifth when you wake up you want once again to have Pablo Marin to be the Minister of Health.”

 

The PUP has repeatedly sounded the call for the removal of Minister of Health Pablo Marin because they say health has flat-lined under his watch.

 

Francis Smith

Francis Smith, PUP Candidate, Pickstock

“We sat in front of our TV screens in disbelief watching the Melinda Guerra and Nasley Sommerville allegations of gross financial irregularities. We saw the deplorable institutional neglect at the San Ignacio and Belmopan hospitals with the improper disposal of bio-hazardous waste. We saw needles, syringes, bloodstained dressings and swabs strewn over the hospital grounds in San Ignacio and Belmopan. Lastly, a Charley Price in the incubator went viral for all the world to see. Right minded health professionals were all profoundly disturbed and embarrassed. But for our UDP parliamentarians, including the Prime Minister, this was a provocation to great laughter and jokiness.”

 

The plan contains gems like the rollout of National Health Insurance, an end to corruption in the tendering process, an end to the appointment of political cronies, emphasis on wellness, well equipped diagnostic facilities, a new twenty-four hour hospital in San Pedro and a Health Fund using Petrocaribe monies to assist patients who cannot afford medical treatment.

 

Francis Smith

“A PUP government will revitalize medicine in Belize and restore trust in our public health system. Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes we are. We are not here only to win elections, as the Prime Minister said of Pablo Marin. We feel your pain, brothers and sisters. We are here to uplift the weak, to cure the sick, to console and give hope to the dying. We are not here just to win elections. This is the PUP promise. This is my solemn oath to you. In this we shall not be moved.”

The plan also addresses investment in rural health facilities and in medical specialists and equipment at the nation’s largest referral hospital, the KHMH. Mike Rudon reporting for News Five.

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