Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Commentary » G. Michael Reid discusses Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital
Feb 27, 1998

G. Michael Reid discusses Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital

Story Picture
Since he took over the last segment of the Friday edition of News Five live, G. Michael Reid has dispensed a healthy dose of issues – some controversial, others just plain informative. Look out Karl Heusner Memorial you’re the focus of his Last Word this week.

“Though firm in my convictions that sports is integral to the development of any nation and is in dire need of attention in Belize. I believe that it actually comes in third on our list of priorities. Second would be education and topping this imperative bill of concerns would have to health care. On Monday, September 18th, 1995, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital opened it’s doors and a brand new chapter in health care for Belize was to begin. In an astute scheme of arrangement, this 45 million dollar monument to infirmity was emplaced to embody the Bliss School of Nursing, the Central Medical Lab and the Government Eye Clinic. Ideally located with easy access to and from all points in the entire city and both highways, the planners of this complex seemed to have exhibited what is normally rare for Belize, an exercise in practicality.

Upon approach or in just a view from passing, the Karl Heusner Memorial sits handsome, still radiating in a distinct glow of novelty. The parking lots and grounds in front are kept fairly clean and a few trees and shrubbery have even been planted. At first glance this costly expenditure might almost be considered money well spent. Closer observation however, reveals that there are quite a few problems associated with this infirmary and what we might have here in fact, is a whole lot more glitter than substance.

After receiving a letter from an anonymous fan suggesting that a visit to this facility might prove enlightening, I spent the past few days snooping around and roaming the endless corridors while fraternizing with just about any staff member who would bear my acquaintance. First of all the rift between Medical Chief of Staff, Dr. Hugh Sanchez and his Indians of staff which got so far out of hand last July that the police had to be called in, still seems to be the major concern among the doctors. The majority of medical officers still seem to feel that Sanchez is not the best man for the job and would prefer to see the post filled by Dr. Francis Smith. A few staff members however, seem to believe that it is just a matter of Dr. Sanchez being stern in the execution of his duties, the doctors on the other hand seem to think that the problem goes a lot deeper than that. I decided then, that the best course of action would be to hear things straight from the horses mouth. I caught up to Dr. Sanchez at the lab last Wednesday, but he was forthright and rude in his refusal for an interview. I couldn’t help but think that maybe this attitude was a major part of his problem. The fact is that while this situation might be considered just a case of internal squabbling, it invariably affects the quality of treatment being received by patients and many are the stories coming out of this place about neglect, incompetence and wrong diagnosis which has led to much discomfort in some cases even death. While at the hospital this morning I spoke to a gentleman who claims that a few weeks ago, he had brought his 27 year old wife suffering from fever and diarrhea. She was told that nothing was wrong and sent away. Today he was making funeral arrangements. As we speak, a young woman lies in a coma and with the circumstances surrounding this case clouded in a shroud of mystery. The fact is that the practice of medicine is far from being an exact science and the prescribing of the necessary drugs is but one aspect of the treatment. The spirit in which the medicine is dispensed might in fact be a greater part of the care. The situation at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital needs immediate attention from the powers that be, especially those at the Ministry of Health. And while we’re at it, how about doing something about our two essential, yet grossly neglected and dilapidated out-patient clinics. Cleopatra White is almost overgrown with bush, while the Matron Roberts Health Center is starting to look more like a junk yard than a clinic.

With the Last Word, G. Michael Reid.”

The opinions expressed on the Last Word are those of G. Michael Reid and not necessarily those of Channel Five. Comments are welcome.

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.

Advertise Here

You must be logged in to post a comment Login