Tonight, Belize's medical professionals are facing an increase in professional fees - and critics say these new regulations by the medical council are arbitrary and without justification.

The new SI was gazetted yesterday with the new fees payable before the 30th of November of each year.

Last night when news of the change became widespread knowledge among medical professionals, many were understandably upset.

This morning 7News sat down, with perhaps Belize's most well-known internist, Dr. Fernando Cuellar to get his personal take on the new licensing fee and what it means for his profession.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Critical Care & Internal Medicine Specialist
"Let us underline that word personal I was a prating physician for the past 32 years and by no way or means am I speaking on behalf of any official body, um, what seems to have happened is that we were presented yesterday with this new S.I. that has made some changes to the medical practitioners act, um, couple things, few things, but what seems to be high on the list of debate and discussion is the practising fee meaning that fees have gone up in general, noh. It's a little bit confusing when it comes to the registration fee and annual practising fee but generally speaking fees have gone up. I for one have no problem with fees going up ok, we are paying more for gas, for toothpaste, for toilet paper. Myself, in the office here my consultation fee has recently gone up too, ok, umm, but what is lacking, unfortunately, is communication, it's the involvement of everybody and I think that is where if any critics can be levied or should be levied is the fact that enough communication wasn't done ok, the BMDA for example which is the association does have a representative on the council and I am sure that things could have been done differently so that we are more involved in the decision-making process and I am not saying that. We should make the decision, we could have contributed. A little bit more to the whole um, issue of an increase in fees like for example, okay well we need to go from A to B but before getting way to B first we go on that step and maybe a gradual increase would have been also another way of doing things so definitely again in summary it's a lack of communication and involvement with everybody okay so that is my two cents.

"Do you feel that this is going to cause trouble though and again I know you can't speak on behalf of the association but I'm sure there are some rumblings. "

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Critical Care & Internal Medicine Specialist
"Yes, there is some unhappiness, there is plenty of unhappiness but unfortunately, my experience is that's all we do not only the medical community, Belize as a whole we are good. To talk, we are good to put on WhatsApp and chat and call talkshows but that is all we do we leave it at talks I honestly don't think anything else will come out of it."

Channel 7