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#506460 - 08/06/15 04:49 AM Shortage of Beds at KHMH  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,648
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Two weeks ago, the staff of the national referral hospital went on a brief go-slow, canceling all referral services from the districts. That was called off after a meeting with the Board of Governors, a government negotiating team and staff representatives. Well today, the K.H.M.H. issued a statement saying that it suspending elective admissions to the General Surgical Ward and Day Cases because the hospital is overwhelmed with emergency cases from the city and the entire country. The hospital also says that there is a shortage of beds and that in an effort to care for patients already admitted and requiring surgery, the Board of Governors has chosen to clear up the backlog of patients. The hospital plans to resume full services on August tenth.

Channel 5

#506484 - 08/07/15 05:09 AM Re: Shortage of Beds at KHMH [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,648
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

K.H.M.H. C.E.O. Addresses Bed Scarcity

Still on health related matters, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is faced with yet another embarrassing dilemma which has forced the national referral facility to suspend elective surgeries until Monday, August tenth.  The predicament comes on the heels of a spike in admissions of trauma patients. On Wednesday, the hospital informed the public that as a result of the extremely large numbers of emergency cases, specifically victims with bodily injuries that require admission and operation, the General Surgical Ward at the K.H.M.H. is out of beds.  As such, the focus for the remainder of the week is clearing its backlog of patients. It’s rather disconcerting that the facility has exceeded its bed capacity and this morning, Dr. Adrian Coye, Chief Executive Officer at the hospital, spoke briefly of the matter on the airwaves.

Adrian Coye

On the Phone: Dr. Adrian Coye, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

“This week, I know that we had to send a release and this is unusual in the sense that we have not sent releases like this in the past with any great frequency, but there are many times when this hospital is challenged—challenged by, as we know, cases of trauma, the cases of transfers from district hospitals which is our responsibility. We are here to serve everyone. And unfortunately when that profile changes, we are unable—in this case, in this week—we are saying that we are unable to take elected surgeries. Clinics continue, every other service continues; in fact, patients on the ward that needed surgeries are getting their surgeries. And as I say, we are victims of our success because in the things that we do, patients are being sent to us from everywhere. For example, for the public system, orthopedic is the only service provided for public access at Karl Heusner, so everyone from north, south, west, everywhere will end up here with broken limbs and they do stay much longer in the hospital. So on Tuesday of this week, we had ten admissions in the Emergency Room alone; we had patients in the Recovery Room. And when I say ten patients in the Emergency Room, meaning then that they are waiting to be admitted to the Surgical Ward which has a capacity of twenty-eight bed, which was already full. So physically we would not be able to take any patients from the elected areas into our surgical floor if we have ten emergency cases in our Accident and Emergency Department.”

Dr. Adrian Coye Says CT Scanner is Operational Once Again

A similar concern had been raised about the diagnostic X-ray scan.  The CT scanner has been out of service for quite some time and it was only on Friday of last week that the machine was finally repaired.  Dr. Coye, in offering comment on the bed crisis, briefly commented on the issue of the CT scanner.

On the Phone: Dr. Adrian Coye, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

“Regarding the CT Scan again, that has been a big trouble for the…yes the CT Scan hadn’t been working for a while. We were able to have it fixed last week Friday and so we’ve been doing and perhaps done about thirty CT scans since then. It is still working. It is ten years old; it is the workhorse of the country. It used to do a hundred and eighty scans a month and at some point, with that kind of use and overuse, it will have its challenges at ten years. And I’m not making any excuses in that regard, but we as management and hospital have been very concerned about our patients who are in need of a CT scan during their times of emergencies; in fact, we have acted as a middle man in terms of we facilitated patients going for CT scans in the private sector. In fact, we received the bill as a hospital just to make sure that this does not become a problem for patients in terms of care. So we’ve tried our very best to close those gaps along the way.”

On July sixteenth, K.H.M.H. was also forced to suspend elective surgeries when its staff undertook a go-slow at the hospital during negotiations for a salary increase.  But this time around, it was the hospital that is suspending elective surgeries. 

Channel 5

#506510 - 08/08/15 04:35 AM Re: Shortage of Beds at KHMH [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,648
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

KHMH CEO Says Beds Aren’t The Problem

There is not enough space to accommodate all patients at the KHMH. On Wednesday the hospital sent out a press release stating that they will not be admitting any non -critical patients until Monday. This is as a result of the shortage of beds at the hospital. The release says "the management of the KHMH took the decision to suspend elective admissions to the General Surgical Ward and Day Cases due to the overwhelming numbers of emergency cases." This issue can severely impact patient recovery and comfort since there is already a backlog of elective cases at the hospital. Today we spoke with the CEO of the KHMH and he told us that just buying more beds won't solve the problem.

Dr. Adrian Coye, CEO, KHMH
"As we said in our press release, recurrently throughout the year we are challenged by just surges of cases that are either transfers from the regional hospitals or just trauma cases and sometimes during the week we have beyond our capacity. Remember, the old Belize City Hospital had a capacity or 170 beds and this Karl Heusner 20 years ago was built with 105 beds capacity. So 20 years ago the population could have been around 200,000 and now we are 350,000. So already we have had an institutional frustration created and over the years it's become just much more obvious. So we cannot predict. If for example, if you have a dengue outbreak or something like that then you have a surge of patients need to be admitted, but in the end what happens, is that all these emergencies block the beds for patients who require elective care."

"Elective care, those are plan surgeries or plan studies and if the patients who have trauma or broken limbs etc., they are going to stay very long in the hospital. Now the issue of surgeries, general surgical ward has only 28 beds. This week on Monday and on Tuesday we had 10 patients needing admission to the surgery, with a ward already full. So then, in the recovery room you would have another 4-5 patients who had surgeries and are now trying to go to the surgical ward."

"This is something that we battle constantly. But we reached a point where we just cannot take any more and we have to take a break, which is essentially what we are doing this week; cleaning or getting all the cases that are lingering on the ward, so that we can create a flow for the coming week. We have beds for the number of spaces the hospital have, but beyond that we have to look at building new spaces, new clinical spaces, especially and orthopedic ward. We may have to have a ward just for the orthopedic cases. So that involves planning and construction."

There are currently about 140 beds at the KHMH. The hospital resumes admission of elective or non-critical cases on Monday.

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