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Feb 8, 2022

Minister Bernard: Meds Shortage Will End Soon

Kevin Bernard

The current shipping challenges that have prevailed over several months have compounded an already short supply of medications brought on by the mid-2020 budget cuts that the National Health Insurance had imposed for imaging, laboratory, and pharmaceutical services. But, Minister Bernard assured today that the patients will be able to access their medications in the coming weeks at their public health clinics.


Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

“It is my priority. In fact, I met with the Belize Medical and Dental Association just this Monday, yesterday, and that was one of the things that were raised. I have said to my team when I met with the technical advisors last week, I said to them that we cannot afford to have those issue repeated themselves. And it is my commitment that whatever processes have to take place by the end of this month so that we don’t have this type of delay, we are going to do so. We cannot have our hospitals and our health facilities short of these basic medications. We have sent out the call to the suppliers, for those who had tenders to ensure that they give us a timeline by the end of this month when those supplies will be in country, but I can tell you that any new purchases or any new orders that have to go forward through the tendering process will be done timely so that we have those medications on hand to supply our facilities over a period of time.”


Marion Ali

“Is the problem really supply and demand or is it budgetary constraints?”


Kevin Bernard

“It is not budgetary constraints; I would not say its budgetary constraints. I think that at the time, supply and demand has been an issue. We had a spike as well in COVID cases last year that made a lot of demands on some of the supplies, but at the same time, we know we’re having some issues with shipping. There has been – unfortunately there were delays and I won’t hide away from the fact that there were delays with some of the processes that were done and I call upon everybody, every player – the Contractor General, the procurement team, the tendering committee, you’ve got to get your act together. We need to ensure that whenever these processes are done, the people can get their medication timely so that we can afford to provide an efficient service to the Belizean people.”

Marion Ali

“How soon are we looking at, Minister?”


Kevin Bernard

“We are starting that process by the end of this month. We have already started to make a call out, and like I said, we’re trying to ensure that those who had supplies to submit to give us by the end of this month the latest so that these supplies can come into the country.”

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