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Ministry of Health & Wellness: ‘Procedural error’ to blame for mix-up in corpses at Northern Regional Hospital

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Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2021. 4:50 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Ministry of Health and Wellness acknowledged that police were given the wrong body, that of the late Fernando Canche, instead of the ‘John Doe’ first brought to Orange Walk’s Northern Regional Hospital on Christmas Eve, to bury a week later.

The mix-up was put down to a ‘procedural error,’ a Ministry statement said yesterday.

The incident came to the hospital’s attention this past Monday and the Regional Health Manager led a meeting to address the situation. Its office has made recommendations to ensure this does not reoccur, including an immediate revision and re-sensitization of the morgue policies to all staff. Clear communication channels were also reviewed and agreed on with the police personnel present.

The statement added, “The family was offered assistance to exhume and bury the body at the location originally prepared in San Felipe Village. The Ministry has also encouraged the family to submit a request for any financial compensation that this incident may have caused them because of this error on the Ministry’s part.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness regrets this unfortunate incident that has regrettably caused unnecessary pain to the Canche family. The Ministry is committed to following up with the family and assures the public that all that is necessary will be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident.”

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