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Jul 26, 2018

Hemodialysis Programme Negotiations Continue

The Ministry of Health says that it should know by the end of this week whether the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and La Loma Luz Hospital have accepted the new terms of negotiations for a hemo-dialysis programme.  Over one point seven million dollars are used every year to help about thirty patients with renal failure. The dialysis therapy is expensive for most persons who need it; and those who are on the list, rely heavily on the subsidized care. But while the Ministry of Health waits to hear from the two hospitals, they are also looking at other local dialysis providers.  C.E.O. Ramon Figueroa says that the services and facilities must be up to standard and that is why they are working diligently to do assessments. News Five understands that one of the providers being considered is Dialysis del Caribe. C.E.O. Figueroa explains where the process stands.


Ramon Figueroa

Dr. Ramon Figueroa, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“We are right now in the process of renegotiating the subsidy that has been given to two facilities to provide hemo-dialysis. We believe that the agreements we had in the past no longer hold. I think we can, well, we believe at the Ministry of Health that we can get a lot more people on the dialysis program with the same amount of money that we have. So, we are in the process of negotiating that with both facilities. We are considering, probably extending, maybe contracting – and this will be done on a contractual basis. Right now it is a straightforward subsidy transfer from the Government to these facilities. We want to establish clear cut contracts and guidelines so that we know exactly what we are getting for the money that we are paying them and increasing the number of patients on the list for the two facilities – so that is where we are. In addition to that, we want to see if we can extend contracts, probably utilizing private providers that are providing hemo-dialysis services. Of course, we have to do an assessment to ensure that they meet the standards that we are expecting. And the reason we want to do this is because, remember people are from all over the country, and even though we have improved access, at the end of the day if people have to travel from PG…so we are trying to see if we can get somebody to provide services up north so that people from up north don’t have to travel all the way to Belize City, so it is more an access issue and that is another phase of the negotiation to see if we can get additional providers to provide hemo-dialysis services.”


Andrea Polanco

“Will there be a tendering process – to submit bids or anything like that?”


Dr. Ramon Figueroa

“I would want – or we would want that to happen. But again, you would tender based on if they meet the standards or criteria. We have our teams doing an assessment of the facilities and once you meet the standards you are eligible to be given a contract.”


Andrea Polanco

“Are we looking at facilities that are outside of Belize – in neighboring countries – Guatemala or Mexico?”


Dr. Ramon Figueroa

“No. Not at all. We have the providers in country. You mentioned somebody who came from Honduras and set up a company here in Belize. They have a long trajectory and experience of providing hemo-dialysis in Honduras. We did our background checks even before – they have been here for quite a number of years – and we have been following the results. Initially, we had a little bit of trepidation of granting them a permit to provide the services because we weren’t sure and this was something new. But as I said, we did our background checks in Honduras and they are a legit company and at this point in time the results that we have seen from that company are good. So, we just need to ensure that internally they have all the parameters and standards that we expect them to have and so they become an eligible company and a lot of Belizeans are getting services from them.”

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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