From DHS To Doormat? Dr. Manza Sent To Sit in Secretary's Pool

Posted By: Marty

From DHS To Doormat? Dr. Manza Sent To Sit in Secretary's Pool - 02/17/21 11:16 AM

Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero tested positive for COVID 19 in the first week of December, 2020, and had been on sick leave - dealing with some serious long haul symptoms. That is until he showed back up to work at the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Monday of this week.

But, he had no office, no desk, and pretty much, no job. Sources tell us that Manzanero was then left with nowhere else to sit but in the secretary's pool for want of office space.

Reports suggest that while the Minister Michel Chebat did not meet with him - but higher up's in the Ministry told reportedly him that he was, basically, facing a demotion; that either he can go work with the HIV Program, go take a job as medical officer or resign. We are also told that he was urged to go back on vacation.

Reports say the attention of the Union has been called to the matter. Public service regulations do not allow demotions without first going to the Public Service Commission - which is currently at a standoff with the government.

We did reach out to Dr Manzanero - who had no comment.

Channel 7
Posted By: Marty

Re: From DHS To Doormat? Dr. Manza Sent To Sit in Secretary's Pool - 02/19/21 11:36 AM

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 been handled.

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."

Jules Vasquez

"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."

Jules Vasquez

"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 different… 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."

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: From DHS To Doormat? Dr. Manza Sent To Sit in Secretary's Pool - 02/23/21 05:50 PM

Dr. Marvin Manzanero’s future in the Ministry of Health and Wellness remains uncertain

The contentious position for Director of Health Services (DHS) in the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) continues to be a hot topic after the current holder of such post, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, has allegedly been ousted from his office. Acting DHS Dr. Melissa Musa-Diaz, who now manages the office, received an unexpected endorsement from the Belize Medical and Dental Association (BMDA). According to reports, when he returned to work, his office was no longer available, and he subsequently had to locate a new working space. Unofficial reports also indicate that he was offered a lower office as the head of the HIV Unit. If Dr. Manzanero was indeed demoted, a procedure must follow first. Any changes to the DHS post need to go through the Public Services Commission. It is alleged that such a process did not occur.

In a past interview with Minister of MOHW, the Honourable Michel Chebat, he told the media that the technical and administrative team were currently undergoing a thorough Human Resources assessment to place his team members where they best fit. “Dr. Manzanero is always welcome to be a part of our team where his expertise can be utilized,” said Chebat. In a letter dated February 18th sent to the Chebat from the BMDA expressed their satisfaction with Diaz’s management of the pandemic as the Acting DHS. Many Belizeans do not agree with the treatment Dr. Manzanero is receiving from the ministry. Some believe that because the doctor was working under the previous administration, he was replaced. They deemed him as a great contributor to the fight against COVID-19 and deserved to be respected.

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