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Feb 4, 2016

20 Years of Challenges and Achievements at the K.H.M.H.

The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is turning twenty-one and in these two decades it has been in the spotlight for its own share of ups and downs. The hierarchy of the hospital is optimistic about the future and has confidence that the national referral hospital will continue to grow and improve. As many as three hundred surgeries are undertaken on a monthly basis and the hospital has become more efficient and competent. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital officially opened its doors some twenty years ago, in September of 1995 on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. Fast track to 2016, the national referral hospital continues to improve the access capabilities and healthcare services. It’s a journey, says C.E.O. Doctor Adrian Coye that will continue as the hospital continues to grow.


Adrian Coye

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

“Within the last five years, we are not what we were five years ago or even three years ago. The dynamics, the efficiency, the competencies, the investments that we’ve had along the way is putting us in a position, poised for greater things.”


On a monthly basis, the K.H.M.H. undertakes close to three hundred successful operations. A total of thirty-four open heart surgeries among other invasive treatments have been carried at the institution. Within the last five years, there have been several infrastructural enhancements with the introduction of improved adult and pediatric/neonatal intensive care units.


Dr. Adrian Coye

“We had a fair amount, well a fair range of services; we had lots of surgical services and in internal medicine and so forth. So what we have seen over a period of time is the strengthening of the critical care services in particular. That has undergone a major transformation. With the same number of doctors related to the specialty, but with the right investments. So you saw that we did our adult ICU and with the new PICU/NICU expansions and all of those investments is where then our critical care ability has exponentially increased. Where it comes to emergency care and critical care, there have been great strengthening. In specific services, for gastroenterology for example, we do have…we took on a second gastroenterologist. We have a nephrologist, though not from Belize, but from the medical brigade of Cuba. So they continue to five us a level of support that makes us do what we do…great things. I’m very grateful for their generosity because in that regard, we have a neurologist, we have an obstetric/gynecologist, cardiologist from them as well as pediatric surgeon so we have the only pediatric surgery service in the country here. I brought with me cardiothoracic surgery and we have developed that service and that’s still growing. So we do pacemakers and other types of invasive procedures. Doctor Samuels just came back from a year of doing interventional cardiology in Poland. So we are developing capacity in many different areas. And we are taking on a new specialist, Doctor Bradley who has an interest and specialization in diabetes.”


But according to Doctor Coye, while they have been performing miracles with limited resources, there are several issues affecting the hospital. The health institution is in a process of changing comments such as “killer Heusner” to a “Kindness Heals Many Hearts.”


Dr. Adrian Coye

“We have no agenda to cover up our failings. If we are failing, we admit it and we’ll fix it; however, there is no hospital doing the scope of work that we do in the way that we do it with the resources in place. That balance doesn’t exist, so you are comparing apples and grapes. When we are seeing a hundred and fifty patients in emergency room, other places might be seeing ten or fifteen. So in that way we have to be working differently. Of course the way we relate to people is something that we have to work on because it is a culture.”


The nonprofit organization is also asking for the public to invest in the hospital by paying their bills.


Dr. Adrian Coye

“One of them is what we are starting a campaign where we want people to recognize the value of the service that we are giving. We are not saying that we are looking to charge people out of their pockets, but with the subsidized fees that we have, we are saying if you help us with paying your bill, then we can help you more down the road. So it is a way of investing in your health.”


The staff of the K.H.M.H. has also been unionized. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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