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May 11, 2020

What’s Up with Criminally Charged Cayo Doc?

Fausto Alvin Pineda

A doctor was criminally charged in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Doctor Fausto Alvin Pineda of Benque Viejo del Carmen was arrested and charged for ‘Engaging in Private Practice, While Prohibited from Doing So.’  Pineda works at the San Ignacio Community Hospital, but also runs a private practice and he was found to have been carrying out private practice work that is prohibited under the state of emergency.  The Belize Medical and Dental Association issued a press release to condemn what has happened.  The release points out that the public sector operates under serious limitations and is often times overwhelmed by the number of patients. It points out, “during this time, many of the clinics in the hospitals are closed since the hospitals are running on emergency mode and this leaves the public with limited options for healthcare.” The release goes on to say that the possible risk of infection of caregivers is not determined by where they work, but by the way protocols are exercised and availability of quality personal protective gears.  The B.M.D.A.’s statement closes by saying that they “denounce the double standard and arbitrary application of the S.I.  It is discriminatorily applied to physicians working in the districts and conveniently disregarded for the largest public hospital of the country.” The B.M.D.A. calls for the government to repeal this section of the S.I. immediately and that charges against Pineda be dropped. When he appeared during today’s Ask the Experts live online show, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero briefly commented on the matter, saying he doesn’t have the full details of the case, but he is awaiting a report.


Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“The only way I found out is because of what was posted on social media. I still have not seen a report from the doctor. He has not called us at headquarters as far as I know. I also spoke with his immediate supervisor earlier today and he also had not gotten a report from the doctor that is mentioned. I don’t know why – I am only guided by what is in that social media note. But we don’t know why he was actually arrested. We understand he was released the following day but we never got any official note. I can’t comment other than that. I have asked that he writes a report as to what happened and what is expected of him in that regard.”

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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