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Sep 15, 2014

K.H.M.H. turns 19

The national referral hospital has frequently been mired in scandals; as recent as two weeks ago the K.H.M.H. settled with seven mothers after their newborns died in the neonatal unit in 2013 from a bacteria known as enterobacter cloacae. Today, however, officials put their best forward to mark the hospital’s nineteenth anniversary with the inauguration of new services in Adult and Neonatal Intensive Care. Duane Moody has a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The nineteenth anniversary of the foundation of Belize’s national referral hospital was celebrated today at the health institution on Princess Margaret Drive. The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has been at the center of several major scandals, the most recent being the death of seven babies due to a bacteria, enterobacter cloacae. But today, it was all about recognizing the growth the hospital has experienced over the years and the range of services it now offers.
Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

Pablo Marin

“The increased complexity of the challenges we face demands increasing complex infrastructure, equipment and supplies. I am happy that we were able to provide some support to you from the supplementary funding for the important improvements we will unveil today. We have invested five hundred thousand dollars to expand the capacity of the Adult Intensive Care Unit while taking the opportunity to improve the facilities here. Together, my friends, we have invested another three hundred thousand dollars to expand the capacity of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and again to improve the facility for the vital department. And I have to give thanks to the Prime Minister. Without his help, this financial assistance wouldn’t be possible. Together we have sourced equipment and supplies with the help of the special envoy for women and children, from our friends in Taiwan and the European Union. Together we have also invested another five hundred thousand in the Central Medical Laboratory next door. And we continue to increase our investment around the country in an effort to reduce the load that the K.H.M.H. battles every day.”

 

The event featured the opening of spanking new Adult Intensive Care Unit, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a renovated medical lab renamed in the honor of former board member, Maria Elena Sylvestre, for her services in health.

 

Gary Longsworth

Dr. Gary Longsworth, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

“She has been a tremendous influence, mentor to members of the board and a great help and guide to us through some of the tumultuous times that we’ve had over the last six years. Earlier this year, she retired from the Board after six years of duty and the board unanimously felt and I concurred immediately that we should do something for Misses Sylvestre to acknowledge that work and dedication that she had put into the hospital.”

 

Maria Sylvestre

Maria Sylvestre, Former Board Member, K.H.M.H.

“I felt that I was just one of a very dedicated team that worked along with Doctor Longsworth. First of all, the government; everything changed for the Karl Heusner Memorial when we had the kind of government that came into office and that was because a minister and the prime minister had the confidence in the board to let them get on with the job of restructuring the Karl Heusner Memorial. The challenges were great, but it was because of the team work that existed.”

 

Doctor Adrian Coye also spoke at today’s ceremonies echoing that the services at the hospital will improve.

 

Adrian Coye

Dr. Adrian Coye, Director of Medical Services, K.H.M.H.

“It’s been a working progress just like everything is in this hospital. There will always be things to do; in fact everywhere there are immense possibilities. We just have to dream, have vision and wish the best. I think the main focus is the fact that we have privilege to serve our people and that’s the reason why we exist for the patients. And we thank them for all that they have done.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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