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Jun 3, 2022

Opposition Leader Questions Northern Medical Specialist Plaza NHI Contract

At the opening of today’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow asked the Minister of Health and Wellness to give details of the National Health Insurance agreement between the Government of Belize and Northern Medical Specialty Plaza. In his question, Barrow contended that the Chairman of N.H.I., Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, also owns shares in Northern Medical. The Opposition Leader also questioned the decision to house Northern Medical, a private entity, within the Chuñox Village Polyclinic. Here is that exchange.

 

Kevin Bernard

Shyne Barrow

Shyne Barrow, Leader the Opposition

“Will the Minister of Health and Wellness say please tell this Honorable House of a contract for NHI services have been given to the private entity Northern Medical in which the Chairman of NHI has shares, and is this private entity operating at the GOB Chunox Polyclinic at a cost to the taxpayers?”

 

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness

“NHI did sign a contract with the Northern Medical Polyclinic to provide a service to the community of Chunox, valuable services to eight thousand Belizeans who were refused access to quality health care under the UDP. Because he does not know how NHI works, let me say that NHI has similar contracts with Belize Medical Associates, Belize Healthcare Partners, BFLA, and the Mercy Clinic. The mercy clinic serves four thousand persons in Belize City, thanks to NHI member for Mesop. It was recently increased by a thousand persons. NHI also contract worth two entities in Corozal for laboratory services and two others for mammogram screening. This is how NHO works, member for Mesop. It is a public and private partnership which allows healthcare on a much wider scale for a fraction of the cost. Two companies applied for the chance to provide this service. Of the two, Northern Medical Plaza was selected by a tender committee, which has representation from the Ministry of Health, the Social Security Board, and the Chamber of Commerce. Under the UDP, I want you to listen to this member, under the UDP that clinic was being paid fifteen thousand dollars a month for duration of four years and it did not even have a doctor. In fact, it only had eight hundred registered members under the UDP. Under this PUP administration, with the same exact money it now has almost three thousand registered members in the two months it has been reopened.

Maybe I should thank you member for giving me this opportunity to announce that NHI is now expanding to allow the registration of sixteen thousand more residents in the Southside at our four Polyclinics in Belize City.”

 


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