BERT Complains About Mexicans Usurping Ambulance Service for Event
Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) is as close to an official ambulance service as Belize has, boasting more than a decade of operation despite recent financial issues. So it came as a surprise to some that a Mexican ambulance from Cancun was seen near the Ramada Princess Hotel, apparently on standby for Mexicans attending an event there. The concern is that similar reciprocity is not allowed for BERT, which can only take patients up to the Belize border and coordinate with their Mexican counterparts to retrieve them. And the ambulance technicians claim permission from Belize’s Ministry of Health. The matter has come to BERT’s attention and its Managing Director, Andrei Carillo, told News Five this evening that while they need to discuss it at Board level and with the Ministry, the principle is that Belize can take care of both its own and others.
On the Phone: Andrei Carillo, Managing Director, BERT
“BERT itself is very well qualified to be able to provide the service that this ambulance service is providing; and given the fact that they were allowed to come into Belize, they are operating in Belize when we have services that are much closer and what we know is we cannot provide this kind of service outside of Belize – our patients in fact can only be transferred to the Belizean border, and we have to hire a Mexican ambulance to service to transfer into Mexico. So Belizeans cannot operate an ambulance service in Mexico; however we are noticing that this ambulance service is providing services for Mexicans that are having an event here in Belize. The full details of this – the regulations, the rules, the laws – we are not aware that there is any restriction; but in principle, we at BERT are very well qualified to get this job done, and so allowing outsiders to come in and provide the service is taking away from what BERT can provide.”
A formal comment from B.E.R.T. is expected following its meetings.