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Mar 16, 2020

K.H.M.H. Workers Union Meets with Official to Iron Out Pressing Issues

As measures are being put in place to combat COVID-19, the K.H.M.H. Workers Union and the management at the national referral hospital remain at odds. The union is concerned that the hospital’s management has decided to establish a COVID-19 isolation unit within the walls of the K.H.M.H.  This, the union says, will put the staff such as nurses, domestics, and doctors at-risk of contracting the deadly disease. President of the union, Lidia Alpuche Blake says that the frontline workers are willing to do the job, but they want their employer to provide the proper equipment and protective gear.  These concerns, according to Vice President Andrew Baird, have been shared with the C.E.O. and the hospital’s board.  This had led to the union preparing for a demonstration on Tuesday in front of the hospital. The union met with ministry officials and the K.H.M.H. C.E.O. this morning in Belmopan to iron out some issues, but have yet to have those issues resolved. 


Lidia Alpuche Blake

Lidia Alpuche Blake, President, K.H.M.H. Workers Union

“Recently in the Caribbean CARICOM summit press conference concerning COVID the chair then the PM of Barbados specifically said and the PAHO representatives were there that they would not jeopardize their public institutions hospitals by putting the patients there. She had secured an old naval base there she had already sent it to be clean and to have it prepared in case they would get any COVID patients because she said that small counties like the Caribbean who have a very limited health resources and then it will be jeopardized the health system if you place it directly where majority of the healthcare is.”

Andrew Baird

Andrew Baird, Vice President, K.H.M.H. Workers Union

“The K.H.M.H. C.E.O. has agreed that a surveillance team provided by the K.H.M.H. will be placed outside the emergency entrance and the main entrance where we are right now to screen patients and visitors to ensure and give us a safety net that our staff won’t be easily exposed. It somebody shows up with the symptoms of COVID-19 then that individual or persons will be directed to the proper place for management or the Ministry of Health team will be called in to take over.”


Lidia Alpuche Blake

“The Speaker of the House was part of the panel. She has been meeting with all different entities, nurses from the entire districts, the C.E.O. and regional managers and she tabled a report and the report mirrored our concerns that we had on our position paper today. Everything will be put together now. They were meeting two o’clock, the Task Force, where all the different recommendations from all the different entities will be placed on the table for the Task Force to see. There was the big issue of compensation and insurance packages. They will look over it. That is their task now.”

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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