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Sep 15, 2016

Twenty-one years for Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital

The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital celebrated its twenty-first anniversary today. An anniversary church service under the theme, “We Care For You,” saw board members and staff as well as members of the public gathered inside the lobby of the national referral hospital for the celebration. News Five’s Duane Moody was there and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Twenty-one years ago today, on September fifteenth, 1995, theKarlHeusnerMemorialHospitalofficially opened its doors to the public as the national referral hospital for the country. Since its establishment, K.H.M.H. has been mired in controversy and stigma, following the deaths of thirteen babies from bacteria and the questionable deaths of other patients at the hospital. But the positive results of medical attention at KHMH far outweigh the negative aspects of the health facility.


Dr. Adrian Coye, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

Dr. Adrian Coye

“I think Belizeans should be proud of what happens within the walls of this institution. Even though they say that the noise that is loudest does not reflect what happens in the institution, we have to pay attention to the loud noises. Nevertheless, twenty-one years this hospital has been growing and adapting to the needs of this country and that is very important to understand because when we started off maybe there were certain challenges that were infectious deceases primarily and diabetes, etc.  But now we face the complications of non-communicable diseases such as renal failure, heart failure and of course increasing evidence of cancers in our country. So we have to evolve to meet the needs of our country and we have to be there; not only when it is trauma and everyone is running, carrying the patients to the operating room. We have to be there too in the quiet moments, when we have to discuss very difficult and complex scenarios with our patients.”


For Former Minister of Works Melvin Hulse, who currently sits as a member of the Board of Governors of the K.H.M.H., the celebration held today is heartwarming because he was in government at the time and played a critical role in the development of the hospital.  Hulse says that the K.H.M.H. is a success story.


Melvin Hulse

Melvin Hulse, Member, Board of Governors, K.H.M.H.

“I was here opening it as Minister of Works, I helped build it. And so twenty-one years later, I am here to see an institution whose purpose has manifested itself insofar that you realize that the Karl Heusner saves more lives than all health institutions in the country combined. Saves more lives, have done a phenomenal job for the grassroots people—the length and breadth of this country—and they in spite of being able to live on their laurels of how much lives and how much good that they have done. But the fact is, in spite of their tremendous success, ninety-eight percent success, they are still working hard. Make I improve on this, make I get more equipment, make I talk to the nurse, make I get structure, make I get more accountability; make I be updated on the right drugs that are coming in to be able to help people. This is a success story.”


Today, on its twenty-first anniversary, C.E.O. of the health institution, Doctor Adrian Coye, says that the K.H.M.H. has grown tremendously—now providing services that were once offered only outside ofBelize. But Doctor Coye says that there is need for infrastructural renovations.


Dr. Adrian Coye

“We had a lot of debt earlier on; we’ve cleared most of that debt so I am very happy to say that and that puts us in a better position to go and plan forward. Because what we earn, even if they use the model not for profit organization, that still is not financially feasible for this institution. So we do have to get creative ways in which we can not only earn, but then as we earn, we reinvest. The infrastructure, at twenty-one years, is struggling in many areas and has to be addressed. Major investment is necessary, but if it cannot be done on a global scale then we will have to do that from management perspective, from the board perspective; we have to do that in a very strategic way.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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