It is exactly sixteen days since the general election. Sixteen days since the good people of Belize came out and gave the PUP their mandate. Already the true state of our country’s affairs are slowly coming to light. The situation is worse than we had imagined, for all intents and purposes the country had been left on autopilot. In the days and months of her greatest need, Belize, had been left steward less by that way ward bunch. There was no containment or contingency plan for the Covid-19 pandemic. The entire Ministry of Health seemed to be making it up as they go because they lacked leadership. Minister of Health & Wellness Chebat has come in to restore order and has in the last week, together with his team, prepared and charted a way forward.
The curfew for the next twenty-one days to contain the spread and other measures which will prioritize testing and take it to the known hotspots is only the beginning. Arrangements will be made for those affected that cannot isolate at home and care packages for all those who test positive for the virus. This will encourage them to stay home and comply with the quarantine orders. In addition, more staff to test, trace, and treat those afflicted will be the first order of business. Front line workers will also be assisted with quarters to isolate and all the necessary equipment and support their efforts. An aggressive public awareness campaign against the spread of the virus will be launched. The MOH will require both private and public sectors to have employees work from home where possible and in rotating shifts when necessary.
It is refreshing to hear first-hand from the Minister of Health himself the plan to combat the pandemic. His leadership brings comfort in that we have someone that is competent, articulate and will get the job done. It seems that the fresh new BLU breeze has lifted the fog from the BMDA, and we have finally heard from them in regards to the current health crisis. We can certainly agree that the time to fire health practitioners is definitely not during a worldwide pandemic. However, for the last thirteen years the only time we have had any evidence of the existence of this group was to protect their own membership from being victimized or fired. The BMDA claims that they also look out for the interests of the general public in regards to health issues, even though we have seen no real evidence of this.
We had previously called out the Belize Medical and Dental Association (BMDA) for their inaction and silence on many issues affecting the public health system. They remained quiet and meek. Where was the outrage of the BMDA when the rats that infested the hospitals chewed on a newborn’s toe? Where was the outrage when the thirteen babies succumbed in the neonatal unit of the KHMH? The ceiling came tumbling down at the KHMH and the emergency area was overrun by raccoons. The BMDA saw no evil, heard no evil and most definitely did not speak against the evil. It is good that they have finally decided to join the fight against the common enemy, and join the new Minister of Health as he moves forward with his plan. It is our sincerest hope that now the BMDA collaborates fully and in earnest for the benefit of all Belizeans. The Honourable Michel Chebat and his team are off to a great start, their every success is to our benefit and so we wish them Godspeed.