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Jan 18, 2012

Ministry of Health procures ambulances

There are various initiatives such as write-offs and a reduction in electricity rates that have been announced as pre-election gifts. Well, early this morning the health system also got a boost. The Minister of Health and the C.E.O. were on hand at Belmopan Regional Hospital for the handing over of a number of vehicles to be deployed to hospitals and a health centre as well as for other health projects. That included three badly needed ambulances for Ladyville, the Punta Gorda Hospital and the other for the Minister’s constituency in Corozal. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The Ministry of Health’s fleet of vehicles grew by eight today when the keys for four trucks, an SUV and most importantly three ambulances, were handed over to representatives from the different health regions. The government invested two hundred and sixty thousand dollars on the much needed ambulances.

Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

Pablo Marin

“Right now we have an ambulance for PG, one for Corozal and one for Ladyville. As you know, Ladyville didn’t have any ambulance—the ambulance that they had was totally wrecked up. And we normally have the situation with PG coming up and down. What I did this time—I have to give thanks to the PM because I went to him and if you notice, the ambulances that I bought this time are for about seventy-five thousand dollars each.”

Meanwhile, two spanking new Toyota Hiluxes were donated to the Ministry for an NHI project.

Dr. Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“We have also, through the kindness of the National Health Insurance group, been able to acquire two new Toyota Hiluxes and these will be going to the southern region.  These are specifically to support new programs within the NHI scheme, focusing on nutrition. We’ve been very concerned about problems and challenges really with malnutrition and under nutrition in certain communities and especially in the south. And so we’ve included services in the new contract with NHI to address those issues of under nutrition and malnutrition, especially in children and pregnant women.”

Two Greatwall trucks that will also be used for new health programs, were provided through grant funding while UNICEF donated a Toyota Landcruiser.

Dr. Peter Allen

Peter Allen

“Two other vehicles were provided through the grant funding in the Global Fund round nine grant where the Ministry and the National AIDS Commission had a successful proposal accepted by the global fund. Those two vehicles right now are being used for surveys for the national aids program, which are expected to take I believe another three months. After that time, the vehicles should be stationed I believe one in the central region and one in the southern region to support activities within the Global Fund round nine proposal. The final vehicle, the SUV is a donation from UNICEF, specifically to support programs for maternal and child health and again in the southern region. Belize of all the countries in the region is very proud to announce that we have achieved a goal of zero maternal deaths for 2011. This is one of the millennium development goals and we are the only country in the region ever to have achieved this goal as far as we are aware.”

And while ambulances were being distributed, we asked Minister Marin, what about the Benque residents who have been without a proper emergency response vehicle for several months.

Pablo Marin

“There is an ambulance in Benque. We had a little situation with the vehicle. Today we are finishing to sign the MOU with Benque because the ambulance was donated for Benque. So it was hard for us to take it over to Cayo. So we have an agreement with the mayor from Benque, with Minister Contreras and the Ministry of Health signing that MOU and for all of us to be part of that signing. So it’s supposed to start to work by maybe next week the latest.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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3 Responses for “Ministry of Health procures ambulances”

  1. O. Walk observer says:

    They spent $250,000 on three ambulances, what a laugh and shame, GOV spends much more than that on individual housing loan write-off. Take a look at the Public Works compound in O.Walk, it looks worse than a scrap yard, yes they have more unservicable vehicles than anything else and a scrap yard is better arranged than Public Works. Yet nothing is done about it.

  2. NOT SO FAST says:

    produce the statistics, because every week we heard of newborn babies dying in hospitals all over the country.who wants to bet that the SUV dissapears just before election..

  3. V.L says:

    Come on not so fast. how can you say that babies are dying all over the country thats a lieee if you dont know dont write. we should be happy that we have new ambulance its for the benefit of our country and us you dont know when youll need ambulance assistance and you’ll surely gonna need the $250,oo0 assistance.

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