By Benjamin Flowers: Following his appointment as the new Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard has been on the move trying to acquaint himself with the portfolio and finding the right configuration for the ministry.
His latest move was to take a tour of the Northern Regional Hospital, Orange Walk, today, along with his newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Julio Sabido.
During their visit, Bernard and Sabido were treated to a brief tour of the facilities.
On January 10, the Government of Belize announced a Cabinet reshuffling which saw Michel Chebat reassigned from the health ministry with immediate effect, making way for Bernard to take over. The move comes after months of controversy within the ministry, including the departure of one health CEO and a decision by the person chosen as the replacement to not accept the post.
Sabido would later step in to take the post; however, there are several senior management positions within the ministry that have yet to be filled, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Belize with a fourth wave, sending active infections above 9,000.
Bernard, who has entered the ministry with the support of the Prime Minister and Party Chairman, has said publicly that he intends to have the vacant management positions filled as soon as possible, and that all efforts are being made to ensure that these posts are filled by the right people.
This week, Bernard announced that, among the actions being taken to bolster the national COVID-19 response, the government will be extending the ongoing curfew for another month.
He expects to make even more comprehensive and decisive moves once he has assembled an able support team at the ministry.