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Nov 16, 2022

Minister’s Meeting was not Prompted by So-called Ultimatum

Kevin Bernard

According to Bernard, the Ministry of Health and Wellness is seeking permission from Cabinet to proceed with expediting the tendering process to avoid unwanted delays.  He also pointed out that the meeting that was held earlier today had nothing to do with a letter that was purportedly sent out last week issuing an ultimatum to the minister to meet with a specific group of nurses.


Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

“As I pointed out to the association today, that while we had to sign tenders in August, that’s not what the ministry wants to do.  We have taken to Cabinet approval for us to speed up that process in the next tender cycle.  So within this cycle here, we have already missed the due date that we really would have wanted which is June.  We want to ensure that in June of every year, we set out the call for forecast within the various regions and then send out the bids so that by the time December comes and all that process is done, we are able to then sign contracts by December.  It falls within the budget year, it falls within the new budget cycle so that at the same time we are able to properly, and don’t have to go back to the National Assembly seeking supplementary after supplementary, unless there is a real pandemic, as was the case in early, in the past two years. The detailed meeting for today had nothing to do with a letter that was signed by one, well I don’t even know if it was even signed because I have not received an official hard copy letter that was posted on social media with the three letterhead with the different groups that’s called the coalition. It is obvious that one individual has been acting unilaterally on his own. They made that absolutely clear that that is not purview of the Nurses Association of Belize and their sole issue that they had and wanted to address was the issue of the shortages which create frustrations to our nurses, which at the same time we understand the staffing gaps.  We understand and we also were able to highlight to the Nurses Association of Belize the fact that out of the hundred and one posts that we created this year, in this fiscal year, ninety-six of those have been filled.”

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