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Apr 14, 2014

Health Officials defend appointment of Minister’s daughter to top post

Pablo Marin

It’s been a month since the Pharmacy Association has been expressing concern about the appointment of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras to the post of Director of Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health. Danini Contreras, according to the Pharmacy Association, is simply not qualified for the job and neither was the required procedure under the Public Service Act followed. The association has asked that her appointment be rescinded, but that is not likely to happen. Both the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, and his C.E.O. today defended the appointment saying that Contreras, who is currently on a six-month contract, is qualified for high level post even though she has just obtained a bachelor’s degree in science from Guatemala.

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Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

“It’s been six years, I am trying to have my technical people looking at the illegal drugs coming into the country; six years and nothing has been done. We had a letter sent from the task force for us to be able to do something. What we did in the ministry, we opened a new area—we are not over seeing anyone—but we are looking at an area that will benefit the country. Everything we do is for our people and if we have someone to go out there and look at illegal drugs, the quality of drugs and test the drugs that we have then that means that we are moving forward. It is sad to see that six years from now, the Pharmacy Association is jumping on something that we are trying to do for the benefit of the people.”

 

Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

Peter Allen

“We have been trying to strengthen this particular inspectorate solution for some time and we haven’t been making any process. But we were happy of course that the executive of the association did agree finally to meet with us. I would describe the meeting as cordial and constructive, but it is true that the executive of the association insisted that we would…they needed us; they required us, to dismiss this officer, who is on a contract with us. Now, with due respect to the executive, it is a little bit difficult for me to think that what is a special interest group that has an interest of course in who conducts inspections should be telling us who the inspector will be.”

 

Pablo Marin

“I think she is the only one with the qualifications that she has right now. For someone to do a drug inspection here in Belize you only need like two weeks training and that is it. This person has a bachelor’s degree; she is very qualified and according to our technical…one of our technical persons, Doctor Manzanero, she is qualified. So we are taking some of the advice from our people. What I need to see is for us to be able to pinpoint and to look at the different locations that are selling illegal drugs and drugs that are over the counter; drugs that need prescription, but they are not being looked at. And now with this person in place, we will be able to do all of this. Just give me a time and you would notice that this will be worked out and we will have someone that will look at the benefit of our people.”

 

Reporter

“But sir, the Pharmacy Association does not share your view. They’ve actually said that they are threatening industrial action—they haven’t said exactly what they will be doing, but how do you view that position?”

 

Pablo Marin

“It is sad to hear that because all of us, we are looking at the benefit of the people and what we are delivering them. So if they don’t agree and we have already went down and asked them to sit with us; we showed them the different positions. The only thing that they did and their minds were set and said fire the girl and that’s it. I cannot do anything apart from that. What I want to do is for me to be able to control these drugs coming into the country and that is what I am going to do and I’ll stick to that. I cannot change my plans for the benefit of a group and that’s it.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, if she as a trained individual, but without the name Contreras—was not the daughter of the Minister Contreras—would you all still have hired her? Would you all still be going to lengths to protect her?

 

Pablo Marin

“Sure, we have done a lot of things. I mean we have people—sorry to say it—in the Ministry of Health that we know they are not qualified. We cannot remove them because the public service protects them. So what do we do about those people now that we want to do a change in the ministry to look at something to benefit us all? Then you jump on me and tell me that I am doing wrong? Why don’t you jump and say you know what there is this company selling something illegal and do something with that. Nothing like that has been done for six years. Now the first time that I am trying to put my foot strong on the floor and say I need this to be done; that would be it.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “Health Officials defend appointment of Minister’s daughter to top post”

  1. Rod says:

    This man is a total idiot get rid of her another token of this gov. She is not qualified for the job but this whole gov. Has their family members in high positions to steal money and to protect them the pm an ministers sad sad sad situation in this country this man Pablo Marin sounds like a total ignoramus we the people of this country are sink and tired of the corruption of this gov. Period

  2. benque says:

    I think that the association is corrupt. For some reason, they who do the inspections want someone who they recommend? why? so that he/she can cover up the associations wrongdoings? think I’m crazy, but as they sound, they have been doing things in that association, lived by it and now are afraid that a CERTAINLY QUALIFIED YOUNG LADY, and that is for a fact, if not, look into her facebook page and see a copy of her bachelor’s degree! I think their quarrel is more of a, “She will caught us doing things under the table” and that is what is driving them crazy!!
    and finally, I’mm 99.99% sure that the association members are PUP,hahaha! and they just hating on Danini because she is UDP!!! Well, guess what, a UDP young lady is better qualified, smarter, prettier and will better the system which has been doing absolutely NOTHING in the past!!
    Have a good day! :)

  3. Thruthful says:

    The CEO and Ministry are talking BS.. They know for a fact this woman is not qualified to do this job. Yes I agree she has a degree but that degree is in Science. It is by far unrelated to drug inspection. She needs to pass her license before she is employed as a pharmacist! I think the minister and CEO need to get their act together.

  4. Ali BaBarrow protects his 40 says:

    @benque It’s about nepotism and competence.

    A bachelor’s degree is not work experience, it’s an entry qualification.

    So how does a person with zero job experience get a senior supervisory position?
    NEPOTISM.

    and if daddy’s girl screws up and can’t cut it, cover up, and everyone under her sucks it up, because it’s NEPOTISM. THE FIX IS IN AT THE BEGINNING. Forget her old man’s free trade zone business and how it ties in.

    HELL JUST MAKE HER MINSTER OF HEALTH, push these old farts under the bus.

  5. alley cat says:

    I think the lady is qualified but this is clearly a case of nepotism. I agree that the association should not have the final say and should really only be involved as far as out of courtesy in the process. I am not sure things will ever change all these politicians look out for family once in power.

  6. nicolasa says:

    This minister of health is sooo duuumb he doesn’t even understand what he is saying..everytime he open his mouth he embarrasses us as a nation..i think his macho man ego is driving him crazy..he speaks with absolute stupidity

  7. Tired of inequality says:

    It is very disturbing and frustrating to be reading this article .. It disgust me how the government instead of making Belize better we the government is digging Belize in a deeper hole. The ignorance of today’s government is something I am very ashamed of. Marin says a person with two week of training can do the Job ??? NO ! and neither can that girl Because she may have a Bachelors degree in science it does not make her qualified ! . She is not the only person with a Bachelors degree in science ! She failed med school in Mexico! She tried being a doctor but she failed and that is the reason she ended up studying science in Guatemala. So now you will tell me she is qualified ??? Not making any sense here. I have nothing against her but I think the readers must know that , However, what makes sense here is that she is the minister’s daughter and if someone else were to come with the same degree and ask for the position they would deny it…. To control the drug in Belize is simple … Fence our border with Guatemala !!! Build concrete walls just like USA has done . Train the police to be REAL police officers instead of giving them new cars to idle around … Benque is starting to look like melchor ! especially with those idiots that call themselves Mayor and Minister. The streets are getting worse , the town looks dirty, and the park in front of Benque town-hall is a joke… I ask myself sometimes why did Belize fight for Independence if clearly the “government” knows nothing !! At least England would have given us EDUCATION, many opportunities , they have a REAL military and educated qualified persons for the job ! Belize will never move forward with selfish people occupying government position sad but true :-(

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