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Oct 29, 2021

UDP Opposes Motion to Do Away with Role of DHS

On Tuesday, the Briceno administration introduced a motion, via a proposed legislation, to effectively do away with the office of the Director of Health Services. This would be achieved by bifurcating the role of the DHS. Two new senior positions would instead be created, including the offices of the Director of Hospital Services and the Principal Health Inspector.  All this, by the political directorate at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, to remove Dr. Marvin Manzanero from his substantive post as Director of Health Services. The move is viewed as a personal attack against Dr. Manza who was instrumental in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it was tabled in the House of Representatives earlier this week, on Thursday, the bill was read before the Senate.  The Leader of Government Business, Senator Eamon Courtenay, presented the bill which was met with opposition by the United Democratic Party.


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Lead Opposition Senator

“We all know what this is, you don’t have a good reason to dismiss or fire the Director of Health Services. You can’t justify removing him, you can’t justify your accusations against him, so what do you do? Since you can’t eliminate him, you find a way to eliminate his post and then you eliminate him. If this government did not want to work with Dr. Manzanero, they need only tell him and sit down with him and have enough respect to say, “Dr. Manza, we don’t want you in that post anymore. We have our own person that we want to put there.” And you had a clumsy situation with Dr. Diaz when she went there and it was unstable. So two good doctors you put in uncomfortable positions, people who are professionals, people who will have nothing to do with any political wrangling. So you pass these legislations to get rid of the post but then there are certain situations now that you have to explain. You’re going to have two people in charge of what one person was doing. Now you have a Director of Hospitals and there is a Principal Health Inspector. Two people. Our question is, who will be these two people? Where will they come from? Will they be qualified to hold those posts? Will they be promoted from within the ranks to hold those posts? Where will they come from? And not only that, senator. You’re cutting people’s pay, raise gas price and you’re looking to increase your wage bill. Now you have two senior posts and you’re going to increase your cost to your wage bill. So we will have to expect another Supplemental Appropriation Bill just for the Ministry of Health again to pay for these two posts?”

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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