Lions and GOB join forces to complete hospital

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 43            November 20, 2003

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Members of the San Pedro Lions Club met last Sunday to discuss a very important issue regarding the future of the San Pedro Lions Inter-Community Hospital. As previously reported in The San Pedro Sun, the island Club had been contacted by the Government of Belize (GOB) and offered funds for the completion of the much-needed hospital for San Pedro. At the meeting, a draft copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Lions Club of San Pedro and the Government of Belize regarding this offer was presented to the members. Following discussions and recommendations from both the SP Lions Board of Directors and members of the Club, it was decided that the Club pursue this arrangement with the GOB to complete the project.

    During the meeting it was also noted that the proposed hospital was to be referred to as a "Poly-Clinic II" so as not to misrepresent the services available. At the same time, it was agreed to re-name the facility, The San Pedro Lions Community Clinic.

    The following is a copy of the MOU and the amendments that will now be presented back to the GOB for their final approval.

Grant of Lease

    The Lions agree to grant a lease of the Property to the Ministry of Health (MOH) (together with all buildings thereon and appurtenances thereto) for a term of fifty (50) years at a peppercorn rent of Ten Dollars Belize Currency ($BZ10.00) per annum, subject to the terms and conditions hereinafter set out and shall execute such further assurances as may be requisite to perfect the lease. Recommendations to this paragraph include: That this MOU be reviewed every ten (10) years, and that the MOH agrees not to sublet to anyone else during this term.

Responsibilities of the MOH

    The MOH agrees to: 1) Use the building to provide health care services only; 2) Assume responsibility for the completion and furnishing of the building in the first instance, and expand as the need arises; The Club recommended that a time frame of six (6) months be given to the MOH for the completion of the building. 3) Assume responsibility for the day-to-day development, planning and implementation and delivery of preventative and curative health care services. Services offered will be in line with the package of services offered under the National Health Insurance Scheme complemented with additional services as determined by the health situation needs of the island; The recommendation here is that the Coordinating Committee should determine the additional services according to the health situation needs of the island. 4) Establish, convene and chair a Coordinating Committee comprising of seven (7) members drawn from: MOH (2), Central Health Region (2), Lions (2), and San Pedro Town Council (1). The Club suggested that the Coordinating Committee be comprised of seven (7) members but that Central Health Region be represented by only one (1) member and the Lions have the majority of members (3). It was also suggested that one of the MOH members be the administrator of the clinic. 5) Assume responsibility for medical and nursing staffing of the clinic and proper record keeping; 6) Conduct routine maintenance (plumbing, electricity, air conditioning, cleaning and painting, etc.); 7) Purchase the necessary equipment and supplies that will ensure a timely delivery of quality service; 8) Maintain in place adequate fire and perils insurance for the building structure with loss, if any, payable to the Lions Club and MOH in a ratio of 50-50 respectively.

Responsibilities of the Lions

    The Lions agree to: 1) While retaining ownership of the Property, make available to MOH, the entire building for the duration of the Lease for the purpose of providing health care services to the public; 2) Appoint three (3) Lion members to the Coordinating Committee of the Facility which will serve as the permanent liaison body of project; It was suggested that the three Lion members appointed to the Coordinating Committee of the Facility serve as the permanent management body of the project; 3) Ensure that the Lions and LCIF emblems and/or plaques are displayed on the building at all times so as to maintain the Lions' identity; 4) Mobilize resources at home and abroad in support of the Clinic; 5) Apart from the lease hereby granted, to keep the Property unencumbered and not to alienate, mortgage or charge the same for the duration of the Lease.

Quiet Possession

    The Lions HEREBY COVENANTS with MOH, that the MOH paying the said rent and outgoings hereby reserved and observing and performing the covenants, conditions and agreements on its part herein contained, shall quietly enjoy the premises during the terms of this Lease without any interruption by the Lions or persons lawfully claiming under them.

Compensation of Termination

    In the event of termination of this lease by the Lions before the term thereof, the Lions shall forthwith pay to the MOH full compensation for the investment made by the MOH in the Property for the provision of health care services. The amount of such compensation shall be settled by mutual agreement or failing such agreement, by arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration Act, Chapter 125 of the Laws of Belize, 2000.


    This MOU shall be read and construed as one with the Certificate of Lease for the Property and form an integral part thereof.


    The MOU, when approved by the MOH, will be signed by the San Pedro Lions Club President (suggest Belize Lions Zone 59 Chairman as the Witness) on behalf of the Lions, and the Chief Executive Officer and the Minister of Health, representing this ministry.

    In addition to this draft MOU the San Pedro Lions Club are adding the following clause to the document: That the San Pedro Lions assume NO liabilities for the clinic; and that should the San Pedro Lions Club be dissolved, that the town of San Pedro retain ownership of the building and property.

    The now revised MOU will be presented to the GOB and upon their acceptance, the clinic should soon be up and running. This has been one of the Club's most ambitious projects and one that should soon become a reality. According to San Pedro Lions President Milo Paz Jr., if the revised copy of the MOU is approved, work on the clinic should begin by early December.
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