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Feb 1, 2017

K.H.M.H. Does Surgery on Operating Theatres

Late last week, the K.H.M.H. announced that ongoing renovations have caused a limitation in service delivery. The national referral hospital says that the specific area to be impacted is the operating theatres and sterilization units.  It is being done in phases resulting in a delay of elective surgeries, but urgent and emergency cases will proceed as they arise. News Five’s Andrea Polanco spoke with the C.E.O. Doctor Adrian Coye, who says that the upgrades have become necessary for the output of quality services to patients.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The K.H.M.H. is the country’s national referral hospital. It has been serving Belize for over twenty one years. An area of the hospital that is heavily used – around the clock so to speak – are the operating theatres which see an average of about three hundred operations per month. Today, K.H.M.H. has four operating theatres – but those four will only be operating three at time because they are in dire need of renovation.


Adrian Coye

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

“Initially, we had for many, many years three operating theatres running and they run twenty-four seven, as you know, because you just see the news every day; trauma, motor vehicle accident, etc…they all come here. We do emergency surgeries and we do elective surgeries. So, the true put that we have been having which is an average three hundred cases or operations per month is quite a big number and over the years that causes your infrastructure to break down. Though we have kept up over the years with anesthesia machines and other equipment etc…there comes a point where you have to draw a line. So, we made a decision to revitalize and renovate four operating rooms that we have currently running. As I said in the beginning, we had three operating rooms running for most of the last twenty years but in the last four years, we were able to get a fourth one operational. That was a game changer, because in the end it continued to meet what our demands were. Now, we are down back to three operating rooms, as we have closed one so that we can renovate and upgrade them one at a time, so at any point in time we should have three running. So, during this time, our advisory really is for the public to understand that while we are upgrading and renovating, there will be cycles of us not being able to do the elective works as before.”


The patients to be affected by these renovations are those waiting for elective surgeries only – that means all emergencies and urgencies will not be impacted by delayed scheduling.


Dr. Adrian Coye

“Some patients, the waiting time for them has been two weeks, as an example, that has gone maybe to a month or so. So, we know there is a waiting time issue for especially maybe in Obstetrics. However, as I see it, it is a temporary break and we will get back on schedule and work aggressively to catch up. But then again we may have to give another announcement for when we have possible down times. There are some days when between eight in the morning and eight in the evening, we will do up to twenty cases and this would be cases – emergencies sometimes from the districts and a bit of electives, but often it is just emergencies back to back to back. So, the infrastructure don’t really get a break to breathe, in some instances. So we have to create systems to ensure the environment is safe and ensure the quality be highest standard.”


The completion of all renovations will take about twelve months. It is an investment that will cost around two million dollars.


Dr. Adrian Coye

“It actually means doing over the floors, the walls, upgrading the gas lines, changing the electrical, putting technology in there, internet access so that we can see different types of imagery in there when we are operating. So, it will truly be a modern experience. Operating tables, anesthesia machines, the new operating lights, and in fact a major investment in actual surgical instruments. So, it is a comprehensive upgrade not only in material things, but in the systems that we have so that there is greater efficiency and the highest quality care possible.”


Andrea Polanco

“When do you anticipate that everything will be, fully renovated and fixed – up and running?”


Dr. Adrian Coye

“It will take us about a year. The level of investment that we are doing will run us almost two million dollars. The infrastructure part is one major cost, but the instrument and other equipment. We have equipment as it is, it is just adding, improving or modernizing.”


Andrea Polanco

“These investments, are they fully paid for by the Government? Or through the hospital, so to speak; or did you receive donations or anything like that?”


Dr. Adrian Coye

“It ties in with our last year’s activity. Last year, we pushed hard about paying your bill; that has rewarded us in some ways. Paying your bill – I mean, we give high value for the service that we give. It is highly subsidized and it gives high value for money. In fact, I don’t think anyone can dispute that. With the campaign we have seen increase income and so that would be a way to re-invest directly to funding this type of activity.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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