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Mar 19, 2018

K.H.M.H. in Full-Fledged Crisis over Failing Roof

There is another crisis on the government’s hand, for which urgent action is required.  An emergency meeting was held on Friday night of the board of governors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  This is after debris started falling from the ceiling in certain sections of the hospital. In fact, patients had to be moved to prevent further complications. Since Friday, when it went on emergency mode, the K.H.M.H. has been functioning at only a fifty-percent level.

Tonight, the situation at the hospital is worse than expected and engineers have assessed that the extent of damage exceeds what had initially been reported. It means that it will take a longer period of time to complete the repairs.  It is still unclear why the roof was left to deteriorate for years since it is known that the matter had been raised a long time ago.  At this point, not even a full-time C.E.O. has been named and it is understood that Doctor Adrian Coye, who resigned from the post, is carrying on some duties.

Over the weekend, a desperate solution was being sought to the very urgent matter. The K.H.M.H. had discussions with private sector facilities where it could transfer and treat patients while repairs take place. Preliminary discussions were held with the former Universal Health Services. Ironically, this facility has been a thorn for the G.O.B., but it can now turn out to be the solution to a national crisis.  There is also Belize Medical Associates that is a possibility and the smaller Buttonwood Bay Medical Center.  Also on the table is the use of regional hospitals in Orange Walk and Belmopan which do not have the capacity nor are they at the standard of the K.H.M.H.  The crisis at the national referral hospital is so because the damages to the ceiling prevent it from functioning optimally to deal with the nation’s health.

This evening, the K.H.M.H. issued a release confirming that the damaged area is affecting the Operating Theatre, Central Sterilization Unit, Imaging Department, Specialist Clinics, Pharmacy and Dietary Service. There will be no elective cases or admissions and the public will be informed when outpatient and abbreviated clinics will resume.  A Mexican team of engineers has been invited by the Ministry of Health to assess the facility.

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