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Sep 16, 2003

Medical Associates unveils new equipment

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From humble beginnings fifteen years ago, Belize Medical Associates on St. Thomas Street has grown into a major player on the local health scene. Today, News 5′s Jacqueline Woods previewed some of the clinic’s newest diagnostic equipment.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Two weeks after twenty-five year old Said Acosta was treated for a stab to the chest, today he was an X?rayed to see if his left lung was damaged. In the past such precise diagnosis could only have been conducted abroad; today however, private hospitals like Belize Medical Associates, are providing state of the art health care right here at home.

Dr. Marcelo Coyi, Chairman, Belize Medical Associates

“Well medical knowledge changes day by day and we need to make more accurate diagnosis. And so clinical history and clinical examination by and large directs you to give you a general diagnosis, but for confirmation you need aid, and that aid is in the area of lab and imaging.”

The CAT-Scan revealed that while Acosta’s right lung was not affected, air had entered his left lung due to the puncture and blood had partially filled the organ. The examination gave the doctors a good picture of what happened internally and tells them that they will have to insert a tube to drain the fluid. Acosta, who was referred from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, used the Spiral CAT-Scan: the only one available in Belize.

On August Fifteenth, 1988, B.M.A. officially opened as a specialist clinic and pharmacy service. It’s progress may have taken some time, but the institution’s chairman, Doctor Marcelo Coyi, says what is important is that they have not only improved their services, but they have been able to maintain the high standard of health care.

Dr. Marcelo Coyi

“If you noticed, we have grown very slow, we have in fact creeped, then we have walked, and now we are running. And the reason for that is that we look for sustainability first. We have nineteen specialists practicing in our complex here and there is enough referrals from those nineteen specialists to make investment in a Spiral CT sustainable and similarly to make the investment in the lab equipment sustainable. We also act as a referral lab for the smaller labs in San Pedro, Dangriga Orange Walk.”

B.M.A.’s new lab equipment also includes an advanced mammography machine, a Doppler ultrasound and a complete blood profile device. However, like other private hospitals, not everyone can afford the services…but Dr. Coyi promises that access will be broadened.

Dr. Marcelo Coyi

“Certainly with the new equipment we have, we will decrease the prices. Because it can do a lot of volume the prices should go down.”

However, Doctor Coyi admits that the medical insurance system will need to grow before all Belizeans will be able to access quality private health care. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

The new equipment cost B.M.A. a total of one point two million dollars.

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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