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Mar 23, 2018

“Nobody” Saw K.H.M.H. Problems Coming, Says Health Minister

The Budget Debate winds down later this evening after a wrap-up by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Once again absent was former Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk North area representative Gaspar Vega. But business continued, and during the debate this afternoon, Minister of Health Pablo Marin issued his first public statement on the matter of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and its structurally compromised roof. Marin suggested that while the roof may be having issues, the sky is not falling in. Making sure to thank the local engineers who provided the initial assessment, Marin further contended that no one could have seen the hospital’s problems coming and ascribed them to the Swan Islands earthquake on January ninth. The seven-point-five magnitude temblor rattled the northern Central American region including Belize, caused a brief tsunami watch, and apparently pushed the hospital’s beam supports off their foundations. Belize has obtained the support of its Mexican counterparts, says Marin, to conduct a more thorough assessment before proceeding to figure out next steps.


Pablo Marin

Pablo Marin, Area Rep., Corozal Bay

“The report for maintenance was to fix windows, to fix doors, to paint the tiles that were breaking off, to paint, and I think another one was the A/C. They never could have seen, Madam Speaker, the beams inside of the dropped ceiling. When we had the seismic [earthquake] – thanks, member of the Opposition – the seismic, that, I think it was seven point eight on the Richter scale, and that I think shifted and that is what one of the engineers mentioned – here it is, Mr. Cadet [Henderson] – seven point eight earthquake on January ninth, 2018, that is what affected us and that is what shifted a little bit the hospital and all of the corbels that hold the second beam, because there are two beams there, what was broke loose and that was when they found out there was a problem. Never anyone would have seen this coming if that wouldn’t have fallen, but that propping that we did help us. Madam Speaker, again, I am asking the Opposition to stop [using] health as a tool for political mileage. They started to blast many things that we knew about this – nobody knew about this and you can ask any member of the Board, they didn’t know what was happening on those beams. (Interruption) No, it’s not on the record, he has some of the records, and that is what I am telling you. Madam Speaker, we have to give thanks to the Mexican Government and especially the Ministry of Health from Quintana Roo, because in reality, the engineers here in Belize doesn’t have the expertise on what is seismic, so we are bringing them. But yet I can guarantee the country of Belize that when the tendering process [opens] it will be open and anybody will be able to bid on that tender.”

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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3 Responses for ““Nobody” Saw K.H.M.H. Problems Coming, Says Health Minister”

  1. concern says:

    What a shame for the engineers here in sad that a Minister had lower them so low with his expression “the engineers here in Belize doesn’t have the expertise on what is seismic” ..let your voices be heard Association of Engineers here in Belize don’t swallow that big pill from the Minister of Health..

  2. kmheusner says:

    There you go. this was the explanation and transparency we needed.

  3. Al Katyl says:

    Where is the roof maintenance records, Archives has a copy?
    Isnt the Shoman roof on the river, one mile away, built in the sixties still intact?
    Foreign media reports that Transparency and Accountability are the bedrock of Trust, which is seriously lacking here.
    Lets set up a public facility maintenance records unit to end these blame game on Force Majeure.

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