There is much contention and controversy regarding a new post in the Ministry of Health. We are talking about the Director of Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health that has been allegedly filled by Danini Contreras, the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras.
News of this was first broken on March 4th by Plus Television in Belmopan. Today, a heated and lengthy press release was circulated by the Pharmacists Association of Belize denouncing the position that was filled in ‘secrecy and by a person with strong political ties. For the association this is one more indication that the MOH has no real desire to support and strengthen the practice of pharmacy in Belize.
According to the release, there is the urgent need to ensure that such position be filled following clear and transparent processes and to remove any suggestion of political interference or other conflict of interest. The PAB stated 6 facts backing up their belief that Contreras is not fit for the position. The PAB states that one: the has no working experience in the field, no knowledge of the pharmacy programme in Belize, is not registered as a Pharmacist under the Chemist and Druggist Act Chapter 311 of the Laws of Belize and lacks the specialize training required to carry out duties necessary in the Drug Inspectorate position.
And with much tact and quickness, the Ministry of Health responded to the accusations today via a press release. The release states that the while the Ministry of Health notes the concerns cited, the Ministry is happy to discuss any issues the association may have but regrets that the executive of the association has not made any attempt to contact the Ministry in this regard.
“While the Ministry supports several points raised, it opposes others. Some of the issues raised appear to be flawed conclusions based presumably on inaccurate information. And while the quality of pharmaceuticals is an important issue for the Ministry, the public sector has a clear and transparent procurement process in place which optimizes the quality of supplies but stressed that inspections over pharmaceuticals sold privately have been weak and must be strengthened.”, states the release.
The Ministry’s release ended saying that they again invite the Pharmacy Association for dialogue and that discussing the professional attributes of this or any officer in a public forum is not encouraged by the Ministry. We’ll keep an eye out for any developments on this story.
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