A group calling themselves the Imaging Committee of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is traveling throughout the country informing doctors and nurses about extended services soon to be offered at the KHMH. Yesterday, the group headed by the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Fernando Cuellar, met with health professionals from the Western Region. Dr. Cuellar tells us more about new equipment recently acquired by HKMH.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar:

One, a C.T scan or CAT scan as everybody knows it, we ll also be getting an ultrasound machine, and an echocardiogram so we ll have that new added service at Karl Huesner. We have never taken on a position of competition with anybody. We are being the national reform hospital and have always felt that it s our duty to provide quality care at that place and we needed to upgrade our imaging services to provide the Belizean public with basic imaging services. So, it s not a matter of competition, it is something that s necessary for every hospital especially a big hospital like Karl Heusner especially since we are in the process of trying to accredit our self as an international hospital.

According to Dr. Cuellar, C.T. scans, ultrasound and echocardiogram services will be offered to the public at a lower cost than is presently being offered by other medical institutions.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar:

It won t be free. There will be cost for service where people are required to pay before they get the imaging service, except of course in medical emergencies as deem by the attending physicians and so forth. But yes, there will be a cost and we know that the cost will be lower than other centers because we at the KHMH can afford that and of course we have to pay back for the machine that we have just acquired. Our projected cost for regular CT will be around $280 to $300 Belize Dollars and for an Ultrasound will be around $75.

Dr. Cuellar tells us how they got the 735 thousand dollars to buy the equipment.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar:

Actually it has been a cross to get financing for these imaging. We have approached different areas for the financing and what basically came at the end of the day was us getting our subvention for next year being given to us from this year, but we will have to turn over that money by next year or else we won t be able to run the hospital for that precise month. Yes we did approach 3 areas. One, the government of Belize directly, two, social security and we were refused by both and of course for the commercial banks and in this later one they have requested GOB to be the guarantor but that wasn t possible.

A specific area is being worked on at the KHMH to house the equipment which should be operational by the middle of next month. The new imaging services at the KHMH will be provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including public and bank holidays.