MOHW CEO Says Dr, Manza Accepted Demotion
For the past two days we have been reporting on the plight of Dr Marvin
Manzanero. The man nationally known as the Director of Health Services
returned to the Ministry of Health and wellness from sick leave on
Monday - only to find that he had no vehicle, no office, no desk, and
no job as DHS.
He was reportedly given the options to work as a medical officer, or to
return to the HIV program where he first started working in the
Ministry some years ago. It's a demotion - and one the Association of
Public Service Senior Managers says is completely without justification
or due process.
But, speaking today via phone with CTV-3, the CEO in the Ministry of
Health and wellness said that Dr Manzanero knew the plan and accepted
to go back to work at the HIV program:
"Reports specifically says he has returned to no desk and his job title is
now in limbo. Can you offer any clarification on that situation?"
Deysi Mendez - CEO, MOWH
"Actually before Dr. Marvin went on to sick leave, he was informed of the
ministry's vision of restructuring. Dr. Manzanero holds a post as
established Director of Health Services. The thing is what we're going
through now is that we need to place our staff member, key staff members in
positions that would be very effective and efficient for the response of
Ministry of Health. Dr. Manzanero upon his return had a meeting with
myself, met with the minister and was explained on the way forward which he
had agreed that the options that were laid out and where the need was is in
the response to HIV and in our approach an our need for a medical
internist. Dr. Manzanero agreed to taking either position, mainly taking
the position of the coordinator of the HIV response. So, really it was
fitting him into an area where he has the expertise, Dr. Manzanero once
worked in the area of HIV and he had agreed and really what we had in
conversation is he staying in Belmopan or going to Belize City where the
need of coordination with the VCP clinic is also needed. This was an
agreement that he made in the office and accepting the change. Really the
only question really ended up in that meeting was, am I reporting to Belize
City physically or Belmopan and he asked for it to be in Belmopan."
The APSSM says that even if Manzanero is getting the same pay, it is
tantamount to a demotion without justification. Manzanero didn't
respond to our request for comment.
Chairman of the PSC, Charles Gibson, who explained that a demotion
process cannot legitimately happen if the PSC has not met.
Doctor Colleague Says They Did Manza a Low
One of Dr Manzanero's professional colleagues doesn't like the way he's
And while he's no fan of Dr Manza's management style, Dr Fernando
Cuellar appeared with Jules Vasquez on UnCut last night and said he
does not agree with the way he is seemingly being disregarded.
What he does agree with, though, is that there needed to be some type
of change within the Ministry:
Dr. Fernando Cuellar - Internist
"It's disappointing that it was handled the way it has been handled. I'm
pretty much sure that I expected different. Whatever the justification
they're gonna use, if the reporting is accurate, which I think it is, there
was no discussion with Dr Manza at least to tell him, bwai I think we wah
do this this way. I used to criticize Manza directly, indirectly fi deh on
Ask The Experts everyday. I say, my bwai you got better work fi do. You
assign that to somebody else. And I tried to give Manza both personally, in
meetings and so different advises and recommendation and indeed I felt that
he did not take heed of many people, decentralization of the testing for
example, increase in rapid testing, contact tracing, hiring people, all of
these things could have been done."
"You felt it was too hierarchical?"
Dr. Fernando Cuellar
"Exactly. I think things could have been done differently. And this dah noh
hindsight or Monday morning quarterback. This was happening back then. We
need to do things differently. We suggest things that should be done
different and it wasn't."
"Fundamentally you agreed that we needed a change from Dr Manza."
Dr. Fernando Cuellar
"We needed a change from how things were done. I noh wah get into
personalities and so and it shouldn't be so. And let me state again the way
how this is being handled is disappointing. It definitely should be handled
differently. Got some respect fi the man and say, listen bwai, I think that
we have a differentâ€¦ and if you agree and tell me why you disagree and so
forth and if we can't see eye to eye then we wah have to figure how we wah
do this thing out."