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Mar 31, 2023

M.O.H.W. Increasing Cadre of Community Healthcare Workers

The Albert Area Representative also made reference to the number of non-established staff in the health sector which since 2022 has been up to six hundred and forty-one. The wage bill for these persons is estimated at four hundred and twenty-one thousand, five hundred and two dollars.  But there is also the issue of nurses who have been leaving Belize for opportunities overseas. Minister of Health and Wellness Kevin Bernard explains that the increase in minimum wage has affected that budget, but also that G.O.B. will be hiring additional community healthcare workers and their stipend has also increased.


Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

“The five dollar wage increase has an impact on that. We increased for April first the stipend of community healthcare workers and we are increasing the cadre of community healthcare workers across the country. So we have in the budget put also where we are going to be hiring new community healthcare workers and that stipend will be going from a hundred dollars to five hundred dollars, so there is a significant jump in terms of that. At the same time, when you look at the staffing that we have, I think erroneously that the member for Albert did not point out and she tried to say that we have the same – that’s not the case. When you look at the actual figures of staffing between what was seven hundred and eighty-five and now nine fifty-one; that is where the difference is. We have been putting in people, we have been trying to fill the gaps in areas in CMS, at the regions. And yes, we might be losing nurses, but as we are losing them we are putting out and trying to get in nurses. In fact, every single day, we have applications coming in for persons who are graduating, going through the nurses council, making sure it goes through the necessary process of course, but we are trying to make sure we fill the human resource gaps. Will we be able to do so in three months, six months, a year? We may never be able to fill entire gaps, but we are trying to make sure that we are able to provide the quality and efficient service to the Belizean people. That is what is most important. So to take the budget and look at the wages on a blanket format, I think it was not the right approach, but to really get the answer, all of these things have a factor as to why the wages may reflect that difference.”

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