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Health: Where is the return? Opposition leader questions

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2023. 8:21 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Leader of the Opposition has questioned where is the return on the health sector, which spent $161 million last year and is projected to spend more this year.

Its importance cannot be overstated, but according to Moses “Shyne” Barrow workers are walking out and the system is falling apart from a lack of medical supplies.

People in Orange Walk District should not expect much from the planned expansion of National Health Insurance (NHI) there, according to Barrow, since even with the $7 million to be spent, $15 million less is being spent on medical supplies overall, so it is not likely that a visit to the clinic will result in proper treatment. Belize is still in need of a CAT scan machine and there appears no new investment in maternal and child health, laboratory equipment, and so on.

Minister Kevin Bernard must explain to the House why line items that are not necessary are being increased and key ones are not, including a “stagnant” $29 million for the autonomous Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). He must also report on why and which clinics failed to meet the minimum standard as reported in the Program Performance section of the Ministry’s budget.


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