Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2019. 8:28 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Minister of Health Pablo Marin, today faced the media at a press event, answering questions regarding a leaked Ministry of Finance memo which approved a request from the Ministry of Health to source $1.6 million from the National Health Insurance (NHI) reserve fund. The memo sparked controversy as the fund is managed bye the Social Security Board and the contract to construct the $1.6 million was given to the brother of UDP minister Rene Montero.
According to Marin, however, his ministry never sent any such proposal officially. He told the media he had discussed sourcing the money from the NHI fund with the Prime Minister verbally. PM Dean Barrow, however, told the media last week that he did not know about the request and further said he did not believe the proposal should be approved using NHI money.
Marin also explained that he was the one who identified the NHI funds to construct the new building to be constructed in Belmopan because he says it is necessary to cut cost for the Ministry, which has spent thousands in rent over the last few years. Marin also said he did not see anything wrong with the contract being given to Rolando Montero, minster Rene Montero’s brother, because the tendering process was done legally.
Marin, however, says he now understands that the NHI funds cannot be used for that purpose and he will continue looking for another source of funding for the building.
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