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May 12, 2014

Did Health Minister discontinue the pharmacist exam?

Pablo Marin

The ongoing controversy within the Ministry of Health has become somewhat cloudy. Ministry of Health C.E.O., Peter Allen, continues to insist that patient safety is top priority. So does the Pharmacist Association. Both parties say there is the need for stronger regulation where pharmaceuticals are concerned, and both blame the other for a lack of regulations. One other area of confusion is the exam to certify pharmacists. The course and final examination was being done through the University of Belize, but News Five understands that it has been discontinued. Today, we asked Minister Pablo Marin for an explanation, since we understand that he ordered the discontinuation of the pharmacist exam.


Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

“It is not that we want to stop the exam. From day one I have been asking the entire Board, and it is in the record…that the exam that they take – it’s only like fifty percent of them that pass the exam. What I did ask from them is that they please revise the curriculum and for them to make it better, because if you have fifty percent of them failing, can you please check on that and then three years after, they didn’t do anything about it, so what I did I said you know what, stall this thing…I want to know exactly what is happening. They did the exam again, and up to now they haven’t come and revised the curriculum from UB. And it is on the record, the amount of people failing the exam. That is it.”



“Sir, but if people are failing the exam, isn’t that an indication that they shouldn’t be registered? And why is it that for so many years we don’t have any licensing or registering mechanism as the law indicates?”


Pablo Marin

“But remember – from day one it is not about them failing you know…it is about fixing and looking at the curriculum at UB and trying to see how…something is happening at that particular level, because if you go to a school, and fifty percent of them fail all the time, that means something has to do with the curriculum at UB.”



“I get all of that, but in the meantime as a ministry you’re breaking the law because you don’t have any mechanism for pharmacists to register and to be licensed. What are you doing to correct that?”


Pablo Marin

“We are not breaking any law. And also , it’s the technical advisors in the ministry that are supposed to come to me and tell me, you know what, this is what is supposed to change. That is all, and we are waiting for that up to now.” 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “Did Health Minister discontinue the pharmacist exam?”

  1. Ali Babarrow sez, screw Belize says:

    patient safety is top priority; keep up the lie Pete & Pablo, you SOBs.
    You are part of Ali’s 40, rotten to the core.
    public health is another UDP theft operation.

  2. Sam Jones says:

    It is critical and a vital that a qualified
    Certified person with the years in practice, and a good knowledge of the pharmaceuticals industry be at the head of such a major position, as she is indamgering the lives of the people of the country, at the end the doctors could pay a heavy price on ordering there patients unethical med. THE ministry should stop playing politics with the health of our people and replace her until she gets the proper qualifications

  3. Rafael says:

    If you look at the records,, the people failing the pharmacy exam were not graduates of UB but graduates coming from central america and cuba!

  4. Pharmacist says:

    As a pharmacist that sat the exam and passed on the first try i believe that the exam curriculum should not be changed, the curriculum at UB should be enforced. If 50% are failing its because they are not grasping the information therefore they do not have the minimum requirements to become a pharmacist. So I do not believe the exam should be revoked.

  5. Average Jane says:

    Hello, if 50% can PASS… why do you think the other 50% are not passing. COme again… if 90% were failing THEN I would think something is wrong with the exam. He is being ridiculous. Let’s go wid he.

  6. Retired CEO says:

    Simply ridiculous, if 50 % are passing than there is a need to re-evaluate what is being done to prepare students for the test. Not eliminate or change the test, who does this idiot minister thinks he is fooling. Fool di talk, but da no fool di lisen.

  7. Ixchel Pop says:

    Standards people …where are the standards. I hope that those dispensing medication know what they are doing otherwise…..

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