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Apr 15, 2014

Pharmacists’ Association lashes back at Minister of Health for his unqualified comments

Marisol Melhado

Government’s hiring of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras to a high level post in the Ministry of Health is meeting sustained resistance from the Pharmacists Association of Belize. The association will meet with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize this Wednesday as the situation heats up in respect of Danini Contrerass appointment. The meeting is being convened to discuss comments made by health officials on Monday in light of a demand by the association to remove Contreras as Director of Drug Inspectorate. While the association believes she is unqualified and without the required experience, Minister Pablo Marin, maintained that Danini is the only person in country qualified for the job.  She holds a bachelor’s of science degree from a Guatemalan university and her job as director is her first. Vice President of the Pharmacists’ Association, Marisol Melhado, says that the comments made by the minister are a slap in the face of at least ten qualified career pharmacists who have upwards of ten years of experience in the practice.


Marisol Melhado, Vice President, Pharmacy Association of Belize

“They are really missing the issues of where we are pressing the matters up to date. I think they spoke on other terms that really and truly we are at this because of someone appointed without qualifications.  If they had done the process in a right manner—creating the post and then advertize the position that they have created and to seek an appointment—they would find out how many persons there are; there is a pool that they can draw from. It is very inaccurate for our Minister of Health to say that there is only one person and this person is Danini Contreras, who is the only holder of a bachelor’s degree. Then that eliminates me with eighteen years of experience as well as other people, who I will not name because I haven’t discussed whether I could say their name. But we have about ten persons that have a bachelor’s degree and that’s not to say the lot of Belizeans that we have outside the country who would probably love to come.  The fact that he said to the press that the training for a drug inspectorate is only two weeks; that is accurate, but that is before you are named a drug inspector. It continues to be overseas, two weeks and then you get the understanding of another country…for instance Barbados whereby you will understand the whole structure of a drug inspectorate unit. So it is not just two weeks and that two weeks is a lot of time with a person who has length of experience.  We have an appointment that was not done properly and we seek for transparency and we believe that’s what they think they did and that’s not true. In our meeting they said that they would have invited someone, which honestly we had said on our press release is a mockery.  You have the chief pharmacist at pay scale sixteen and you have now this young lady at pay scale eighteen. I don’t know the figures. A pharmacist with an associate’s degree level that Belize has accepted for more than fifty-odd years to be your chemists and druggists therefore pharmacists of the country, those are the pharmacists that you see at the pharmacy out in the community; those have been granted the license because they sit a board exam and therefore are registered. That has been happening for years now. You have entrusted your lives with them and now you are telling them they are not so good because there is someone more qualified than you and there is only one at that. And you need to accompany—that was the suggestion and that was the offer—you need to accompany this person more pay than you because you are only at pay scale ten. You are to accompany this person and see if this person is doing a right job or not. That is definitely a slap in the face.”

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7 Responses for “Pharmacists’ Association lashes back at Minister of Health for his unqualified comments”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    Kudos to the Pharmacists. The only criteria that is relevant here is having Royal Blood. It’s abundantly clear that we live in a Monarchy and not Constitutional Democracy. It is late but Civil Society needs to fight back against Nepotism as orchestrated by the privileged and the self-anointed. We are living in a Banana Republic for sometime now. It’s refreshing to see that some people in the country still have some balls. Ironically, it took a woman. SMH!

  2. Rod says:

    This is the Belize gov at work every person in a high position in gov is not qualified for the job that’s why we have all these murders and crime and corruption their is a cancer in this gov. And it’s killing thousands of belizeans we are in a way at war with our own gov. Who is not giving the belizeans any protection against murder and corruption in fact they are facillitating these actions belizeans I will keep saying it now over 4000 murders in the last 4 years you or one of your family members not might. But will be next to die. March to this pm house drag him out of his slumber and lock him up before it is too late for you or a family member.

  3. sickntired says:

    This is politics at play. If them politicians get away with this they will push more to get away with destroying the public service. If this lady was a nobody she might not even mi get wah job to begin with. This govt very unfair and it disgusting to watch all this especially when plenty a we out ya no got no job because of this ya same govt.

  4. Marvelous says:

    Sad to see not one person has written any comments to this post in suppor to this courages young woman that is finally doing what it takes to put a stop to this nepotism that BOTH the UDP and PUP Government perpetuate. Shame on the Belizean People. What is wrong with us that we love corruption so much? Corruption is perpetuated throughout our entire society from the time you offer an officer a bride to the time you are involved in the buy and sale of our Belizean Passports, our birthright! Wake up Belize, the time to fight for our nation is now before we loose it. Kudos to Ms. Melhado!

  5. Belizean Pride says:

    I applaud this lady for stepping up against nepotism it’s really a shame as to how gov these days either blue or red run our country with such shameful way of corruption. I agree that if this young lady would have not been link to any politician she wouldn’t be there even if she might have the academic rank. But guess things in Belize have change politicians post people even if they can’t handle the job what as disrespect to our Belizean public. Lets support this lady Mrs. Marisol and the whole pharmaceutical association for standing up against this corruption. UDP gov. for stop it please, we want transparency not nepotism.

  6. Heavenlyblaq says:

    Marisol, you are a pillar of strength and determination and I truly applaud your courage for not baking down from your ideals. You have all your facts together. Belize needs more people like you who stand up for what is right no matter what. That is what Godwin Hulse was supposed to do but he chose to be true to the almighty dollar. I fully support the pharmacy association and their stand for transparency. Stay strong Marisol keep the pressure on!

  7. CEO says:

    She just got out of school and there is no one else that can do the job she was appointed for?

    Really? I wonder if he can hear how that sounds?

    So who was there before and who worked as an assistant to that person? So someone straight out of school is the best we have?

    Pretty dumb!

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