Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018. 5:16 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: The Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) issued a press release today informing that it is ‘greatly disturbed’ by the fact that the Government of Belize (GOB) has neglected the nation’s largest referral hospital, the KHMH.
The PUP says that it strongly condemns the GOB and the Ministry of Health for allowing the KHMH to have deteriorated to the point where the management authority has been advised to evacuate all persons in order to carry out critical repairs.
‘The neglect of this facility is unacceptable, considering the role it plays in providing health care to persons not only in the Belize District but across the country,’ the release says.
Last week the KHMH was forced to suspend operations in certain critical areas after a section of the roof in the radiology department fell in.
The public was subsequently advised, via a press release, that the KHMH is operating in Emergency Mode, meaning that all clinics and elective services have been cancelled.
According to the PUP, credible information reaching to them suggests that an assessment has revealed serious damage throughout the building, and dozens of reinforcement pillars have had to be inserted to provide support.
The party says that they have also been informed that contractors have refused to carry out needed works until all persons have been evacuated.
The PUP further states that as far back as the period 2008-2014, the condition of the roof at the KHMH has been documented in the minutes of many Board meetings.
“The Ministry of Health has been kept apprised of the deterioration through the years, and indeed, has been aware that during periods of rain the roofing in many areas of the KHMH have been leaking incessantly. In addition, there has been no Director of Operations at the KHMH since 2013 to deal with these matters, and while there is a yearly allocation in the Budget to the KHMH for these matters, the repairs have never been done,” the release explains.
The closure of the KHMH will affect the healthcare network across the country.
The party says that closing the KHMH will cause overcrowding at the regional hospitals which are already ill-equipped to handle the flow of traffic through their doors.
“Among the many issues that will arise from closing the KHMH is that access to emergency healthcare in the Belize District will be practically non-existent as the KHMH is the only hospital serving this large population center. As a tertiary care institution, the KHMH provides more specialized services and therefore the closure of this institution impacts access to surgeries, cardiology, neurosurgery, ENT, gastroenterology, intensive care for adults and neonates, physiotherapy, specialized imaging services and crucial emergency services.”
The PUP says that within the health system, the KHMH is the National Referral Hospital and that no other hospital in the public sector has the capacity to provide the same level of care as the KHMH.
The PUP notes that while many millions of dollars have recently been spent on a basketball court which remains closed, the KHMH has been neglected to the point of collapse.
The Party calls on the Government of Belize to immediately inform the country of the true state of the KHMH and of arrangements made to mitigate the negative impact on the quantity and quality of services being offered to Belizeans through the public health system.
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