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May 29, 2023

PM Briceño Responds to K.H.M.H.A. Union

The Briceño administration’s ninety million dollar plan to build a new health facility in Belmopan has been criticized, particularly by the K.H.M.H. Workers Union. The shortage of medical personnel at the existing Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital raises concerns about the necessity of a new hospital. The proposed tertiary care hospital, with a capacity of one hundred and fifty beds, will be financed through a loan from the Saudi Fund for Development. Prime Minister John Briceño acknowledged that the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.) is unable to meet the increasing demands at the national and regional levels. However, the K.H.M.H.W.U. questions the need for a new hospital, citing a serious shortage of nurses and doctors at the K.H.M.H. The union suggests that the funds could be better invested in various healthcare areas, such as nursing education, specialized medical services, and emergency resources. The Prime Minister says that the union is being nearsighted.


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño
“We have to be strategic in what we’re doing. Karl Heusner has reached probably its max. It doesn’t have much space to expand. The idea is for us to be able to build a new hospital in Belize, probably in the Lake I area. You know, we have the land available so that then we could have two regional hospitals in Belize that can provide some sort of tertiary services. But the truth is that if a hurricane were to hit Belize City, Belize country is going to lose its only territory level hospital. So the plan and what we discussed in Plan Belize was then to set up a new regional hospital in Belmopan. The hospital in Belmopan has been condemned. And so we want to do a regional hospital with tertiary services so that then that could help, relieve the pressure from Karl Huesner initially to be able to take care of the Cayo district, Stan District, and the Toledo District. So it relieves that pressure. And also, God forbid that we have a hurricane, our patients from Karl Huenser can shelter in Belmopan with the necessary facilities to look after them. Karl Heusner need helps? Of course, they need more equipment. Yes, they need more equipment. And we are also working towards that. We’re working with CABEI to see if we could get some more funding to be able to do that. The issue right now with the Saudis we just had diplomatic relations with the Saudis. In last year September at the UN, we signed the diplomatic agreement between both countries. And one of the first things they said, well, we prepare to help you with, with a project. And so they’re lending us this money to build this hospital at 2% per annum. Five years we pay nothing, and then we have another 20 years to pay to pay that loan. So it’ll give us opportunity to build that hospital. And to that hospital, attach a university to be able to, to train our doctors and nurses. So whilst I understand what the union from Karl Heusner they’re talking about, they’re being a bi, near sighted. We as a country, we have to be strategic, and that’s exactly what we’re doing right 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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