Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Miscellaneous, People & Places » Health Minister Explains Ministry’s Request to Use N.H.I. Reserve Funds
Aug 7, 2019

Health Minister Explains Ministry’s Request to Use N.H.I. Reserve Funds

Health Minister Pablo Marin today broke his silence regarding his ministry’s intention to apply for a one point six million-dollar grant to be drawn from the National Health Insurance Reserve Funds.  News of the ministry’s intentions broke after a memo dated July twenty-ninth, 2019 was leaked. The memo signed by Artemio Osorio on behalf of the Financial Secretary Joseph Waight states that the Ministry of Finance has no objection to the construction of the Central Medical Stores in Belmopan. According to Marin, funds were being sought because the ministry is spending tens of thousands of dollars on rent for a building in Ladyville.  The People’s United Party has vehemently objected to the request for grant funding from the N.H.I. funds.  The P.U.P. wrote to the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, asserting that the laws governing N.H.I. reserve prevent the grant to be allowed. The N.H.I. fund is managed by the Social Security Board.  In response, the Prime Minister stated that the memo from the Ministry of Finance was merely confirming the position of the Ministry of Health, making it clear that the Ministry of Finance would not be allocating any funds for the project. Pablo Marin today told the media that the ministry’s proposal was never officially submitted to the S.S.B.

 

Pablo Marin

Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

“We have been renting for so, so long here in Ladyville. It is costing us like six thousand dollars every month. For the past eleven years that I have been there we have been renting. The location is a low lying location. The rent is about to expire on us. So we need to move it at a central location which is Belmopan. Now, it is easy to look at it. Whenever you want to do your own facility, first you need to have the plans, do the estimates; you need to carry on all what is needed for you to have all of that in place. The second place is to find where the funds are.  We have about three million dollars right now in reserves so what we wanted to do when we did all of that consultations and what we needed for us to be able to get the funds, we did ask the prime minister, can we use the funds. We did not went and say we want the funds. We wanted to find a source where we can do a new CMS.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“I think the Prime Minister claimed that he didn’t know about it.”

 

Pablo Marin

“He didn’t claim in the sense, you know what, what was happening with this. Remember we did all what we needed to do for us to get the estimates and to get the proposal for it. When we took it to the PM, PM had to ask the S.S.B. if that was possible. S.S.B. said that is not possible.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“The S.S.B. said that it did not know anything about it either.”

 

Pablo Marin

“No, but that was on that time. Remember, S.S.B. if I don’t take the estimates or the proposal to none of them. I asked them before, can I do this? They said you cannot do that.  So they have not received that proposal. So you have to understand that. I am still looking at funds for me to be able to do that warehouse in Belmopan. I will continue to look at it because I believe that we suppose to stop pay rent and have our own facilities. The proposal is in our hands. We did all the due diligence to find funds.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, it was a verbal communication?”

 

Pablo Marin

“Yes, a verbal.”

 

Reporter

“Why wasn’t the proposal sent officially?”

 

Pablo Marin

“No the proposal hasn’t been sent.”

 

Reporter

“Why?”

 

Pablo Marin

“Because we have to find, if you doing a building, if you are doing a house first you start to go to the different banks to see who will give u that loan. If you don’t have anywhere then you just have to hold back. That is what we are doing; we need to find the funds.”


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.

Advertise Here

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*