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Health Minister says Dr. Manzanero’s position is now ‘redundant’

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

The post of Director of Health Services, held by Dr. Marvin Manzanero, has become redundant, Minister of Health and Wellness Hon. Michel Chebat confirmed.

“The position has now become redundant and so I suspect that he is going to offered the benefits of the years of service to the Ministry of Health and Wellness. It’s a redundancy. it’s common in law,” Chebat explained when responding to questions from the media on Thursday.

Chebat also explained that the matter has since been forwarded to the Ministry of Public Service, since the newly passed laws came into on Friday, November 12th. The minister also indicated that Manzanero was offered one of the newly created director positions, but the embattled doctor reportedly rejected the offer. “He [Dr. Manzanero] never accepted any of the position. … I did speak to him personally and I did offer him one of the director positions.”

The “redundancy” follows the passage of ten legislative amendments via the National Assembly in late October. The amendments effectively created two new positions “to replace” references to the Director of Health Services (DHS) with either the Direct of Hospital Services and Allied Health (DHSAH) or the Director of Health and Wellness (DHW).

The DHW, on the other hand, is created by the Medical Services and Institutions (Amendment), and thereafter replaces any reference to the DHS in the following Acts: the Antibiotics (Amendment), the Quarantine Amendment, the Social Security Board (Amendment), the Shops (Amendment), the Chemist and Druggists (Amendment), the Dentists (Amendment), the Opticians (Amendment), and the Registration of Nursing Homes (Amendment).

The Bills, when tabled before the Senate in October, were attached to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority (Amendment) Act (KHMH amendment). As The Reporter had previously reported, the union representative in the Senate had sought to separate the KHMH amendment, which would provide the unions with a seat on the KHMH Board, from the other Bills by calling for a division. That request, however, was rejected on the objection of the Leader of Government Business Senator Eamon Courtenay.

Ultimately, the union representative, Hon. Luke Martinez, ended up abstaining on the vote along with the senators representing the Non-Governmental Organizations and the Churches. Business Senator Hon. Kevin Herrera and the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s representatives had votd against the intermingled Bills. Lacking the majority vote, the Bills ultimately passed.

In an interview with The Reporter, Herrera explained his vote. “I felt that it was wrong in terms of how they handled the current Director of Health Services (DHS) and that the motivation behind the amendments was basically to get rid of Dr. Manzanero. I think my core issue is that they chose to use the National Assembly in that manner. Using the House for what appears to be a personal matter.”

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