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Prime Minister responds to Opposition over NHI funds

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Posted: Friday, August 2, 2019. 10:02 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had a brief back and forth yesterday via letter over the Ministey of Health’s (MOH) intention to access funds from the National Health Insurance (NHI) to build a new building for Central Medical Stores.

Briceño expressed major concern in the fact that a memo issued by the MOH seemed to imply that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) had signed off on the access of over $1,600,000 from the NHI reserves. In his response, the Prime Minister said that the MOF never signed off on it and made it clear that it would not be making any bugetary allocations for the building.

“How the Ministry of Health expected to persuade the Belize Social Security Board to vote the monies out of the NHI Reserve, which SSB manages, was always a matter for the Ministry of Health,” Barrow said.

Barrow added that the decision on whether or not to grant the MOH the money ultimately lies with the board of directors at the SSB and their legal advisers. He also said that he is of the opinion that the MOH should not request the funds from SSB “especially under the current circumstances.”

 

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