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Ministry of Health enforcing morgue use policy to avoid any more problems at Southern Regional Hospital

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019. 7:11 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Health is ensuring that the staff of the Southern Regional Hospital (SRH) comply with policies set in place since 2018 in an effort to minimize misunderstandings with the public about morgue use while the morgue is undergoing repairs.

Breaking Belize News (BBN) is in possession of a memo where the administration of the hospital is asking doctors to ensure that family members sign a morgue use consent form and are aware of the provisions therein. Doctors are being asked to ensure that all relevant staff such as Accident and Emergency nurses and medical officers on shift
are aware of the contents of the consent form for incidents that occur during the night, and were told that the hospital administrator would convey the information to bereaved family members during the day time.

BBN also spoke with the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, who explained that the morgue use policy was in effect from January 2018, however, there might have been some instances where the policy was not being adhered to which might have contributed to an incident last week where a man had to assume responsibility for transporting
the body of his loved one to a morgue outside of Dangriga because the morgue at the SRH is still not functioning.

“The ideal situation is that the hospital would have offered him transportation of cadaver. But the doctor who made the call didn’t consult with anyone. When we found out we did go look for the person but the body had been taken already by a mortician,” Manzanero said.

He said that for the time being, bodies will be transported to the morgue in Punta Gorda or Belmopan until the morgue at the SRH is fully operational. He stressed that hospital morgues are not meant to be substitutes for funeral homes, and as such, bodies cannot remain in hospital morgues for more than three days.


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