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Aug 7, 2013

Why were all the files and vials abandoned at old hospital site

On Tuesday newscast, we brought you an exclusive view from the inside of the old San Ignacio Hospital. There was evidence everywhere of gross neglect and from the Ministry of Health. The building was closed in August 2009, but left behind were hazardous medical wastes, syringes, needles, vials of medicine and thousands of confidential patient files. It is a story that has sent the Ministry of Health scurrying to clean up the mess. Mike Rudon has an update.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This was the scene at the old San Ignacio Hospital when we tour an unauthorized tour on Tuesday. The abandoned building is located in the center of town. There is no security, no closed doors and open access. Inside we found containers full of vials of blood and others just lying on the floor, along with assorted medical equipment including syringes, new and used needles and vials of medicine. And of course…there were files – thousands of them – detailed patient files as well as personal files on staff members. After our report the Ministry of Health took urgent measures, led by Regional Health manager Pearl Ellis.

 

Pearl Ellis

Via Phone: Pearl Ellis, Regional Health Manager

“We have taken action and in terms of all the sharps and biohazards have been removed and have been destroyed. We also had the public health officers who informed that all the biohazards have been destroyed completely. So the site as I speak, do not have any more of the sharps and biohazards. And in relation to the few files, they weren’t absolutely any in patient file…it was out patients old registration cards and these will be looked at together with the other files. We have made arrangements with the Ministry of Archives and they will be here and will conduct assessment of the files and based on the assessment will determine the next step from there.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Miss Ellis in relation to the files, I can tell you personally looked through quite a few of those files and there was confidential stuff. How much of a concern was that because you are saying that it was old files and nothing with in patient information? But I saw these files…”

 

Via Phone: Pearl Ellis

“Indeed it is of much concern for the region here as well as it is for the Ministry of Health…it is a grave concern for all of us and that is why we are taking the necessary steps for us to ensure that all these files and documents be removed from there and that situation be addressed accordingly.”

 

Ellis was a little vague on who exactly is responsible for the foul-up.

 

Via Phone: Pearl Ellis

“Indeed we are doing the investigation into all this and by all means the recommendation and the Ministry of Health will take the necessary action.”

 

But that investigation will be delayed, at least while there is a massive cleanup underway.

 

Mike Rudon

“So at this moment, if we go out to that site, everything has been removed?”

 

Via Phone: Pearl Ellis

“Well tomorrow they will finalize with the rest of it because we will have the department of the archives here and they will be conducting their assessment as well. We are currently conducting the investigation and the investigation will cover all the respective areas and certainly security will be one of the key components as well.”

 

As we reported yesterday, the building did have security at one point, but that was discontinued because of financial constraints. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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No Responses for “Why were all the files and vials abandoned at old hospital site”

  1. Jackie says:

    “And in relation to the few files, they weren’t absolutely any in patient file…it was out patients old registration cards and these will be looked at together with the other files”

    oh my goodness- this is just an ignorant line Ms- sorry to say it. whether it be 25 yrs old or a hundred- it is personal and confidential information which you expect these bodies to have more common sense to keep secure. i would encourage any governmental body, please, get some PR personnel in your dept before you even face the media. no wonder Belize is a circus… goodness and this coming from the Regional Manager- supposedly an in charge person?

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