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Jun 13, 2017

New Extension to Western Regional Accident and Emergency Area

The Western Regional Hospital got a major upgrade today. The works done on an Accident and Emergency unit will enhance the capability of the hospital to accommodate more patients. Added to the expansion, the hospital was gifted with a brand new incinerator – all of this comes courtesy of the U.S. Army South through its Beyond the Horizon Project. For the past three months hundreds of officers have been on rotation to complete several projects across Belize. The building was handed over today and News Five’s Andrea Polanco was in Belmopan for the ceremony.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Western Regional Hospital’s Accident and Emergency serves hundreds of patients per month – and so for years they have needed bigger space to accommodate patients – and today they officially received that much needed expansion which will help to alleviate congestion and better serve patients.

 

Rene Godoy

Rene Godoy, Chief of Staff, Western Regional Hospital

“We are going from four observation beds to eight total, with an additional isolation room which at any moment can house two more patients. So, it is a huge expansion to our services definitely.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How – or what’s the kind of impact it will have?”

 

Rene Godoy

“The purpose of all of this is our patients and the Belizean population at large. So, we are trying to streamline our services and have it given at a more timely fashion, a professional manner and make it more meaningful for them. So, it definitely comes with the added space and you have more to work with and in a better environment.”

 

In three months over a hundred and fifty officers skilled in carpentry, plumbing and electrical work of the U.S. Army South worked on rotation, along with B.D.F. personnel on this A & E expansion project, including a new entrance and expanded parking lot for better patient experience. These gifts were made possible through the Beyond the Horizon Project.

 

Phillip Bray

Captain Phillip Bray, Project Manager

“You have a pretty basic layout; a storage room there; three bathrooms down this wall and the isolation room on the end. It will have the capacity to have four beds over there and then one additional isolation room, so five beds total. This building was built to withstand cat 1 hurricanes, which means it can be picked up and put right on the coast and it would survive a hurricane.”

 

Adrienne Galanek

Adrienne Galanek, Charge d’affaires, U.S. Embassy

“The Beyond the Horizon team, our US men and women and the BDF, as you heard, refurbished the children’s playground; literally raised the roof on the gazebo and re-constructed it; welded and installed railings for the special needs ramp and also for the stairways; painted the flag pole and the parking curb to reserve parking for patients with special needs and artists from the last rotation designed and painted murals in a new space for children.”

 

The hospital also received its own medical incinerator – which means the facility will not have to spend an additional fifty thousand plus dollars per year as it currently does on a rental unit. Housed in a brand new shed, this incinerator will help with proper disposal of medical waste materials.

 

Rene Godoy

“That comes to narrow our gaps and to address our infection control and quality control gaps that we have. Since, I believe 7 and 10 years ago, our old incinerator was not functioning and they used to do open air incinerating with the supervision of our public health and all the guidelines attended to, everything was incinerated on an open air basis. Now, with this we take it to another level and everything that is infection control is going to – needles, blades, and anything that is contaminated with bodily fluids will be incinerated in the compound.”

 

Andre Polanco

“So, I know the hospital was renting one before; so I know this will also going to cut that cost?”

 

Rene Godoy

“Definitely. Definitely it is going to cut cost; cost cutting is coming and that will help us streamline our budget, definitely.”

 

A second phase of this project will see the old emergency area and the new expansion connected to allow for a better flow for patients. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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