Sep 14, 2006

Today the 524 people that work at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in
Belize City are celebrating that facility's eleventh anniversary. It was
11 years ago today that that the K-H-M-H opened, replacing the old Belize
City Hospital that once stood on Eve Street. Chief Executive Officer of
the K-H-M-H, Doctor Alvaro Rosado, told Love News today that the
accomplishments since 1995 have been many.

Doctor Alvaro Rosado:

"I think that since the KHMH Authority took over the hospital we have
managed to stabilize the institution we managed to put out the big fires
that were around. The crisis management days are pretty much over the
improvement in Human Resources is evident, when we took over the hospital
in 2001 the staff I think must numbered I think three hundred and fifty.
The staff now at KHMH is now five hundred and fourteen and this include
some fifty medical doctors and one hundred and eighty five nurses. So
has been an improvement there the hospital is cleaner we have a full time
staff that keeps the hospital clean, those people are dedicated to that
only there are eighty eight employed just to keep the hospital clean and
take care of the food aspect and the housekeeping aspect of the hospital.
We have improved on our equipment since them we have changed the chillers
for the air condition units the central air for the hospital which is
almost half a million dollars. We have put in a CAT scan and an Ultrasound
machine almost a million dollars and we have put in other sundry and
medical equipment that are very expensive as well. The average piece of
equipment probably cost about thirty thousand dollars we have improved in
that area we have improved in the general physical setting, the majority
the external walls have been painted and internally we have totally
refurbish the surgical ward which was the worst ward that we had the walls
were broken the fans were not working, the lights were not working a
private contractor was brought in and he totally refurbished that and it
now compares to any of the best hospitals anywhere else."

Rosado says the hospital is also trying to ensure that the blunders that
have occurred at the facility over the past 11 years do not recur.

Doctor Alvaro Rosado:

"Some of the incidences are not acceptable but I need to put it in proper
perspective tainted blood is given by hospitals all over the world,
are made even in the great USA where you have big situation where they
given people tainted blood. Fetuses have been sent to Laundromat by
hospital in the U.S. there are big stories all over the place about that.
So that is not something that only happens at KHMH but having said that I
need to emphasize it should not have happened at KHMH and these are the
things that we have decided to address in an open manner. We have not
hidden anything since the board took over in 2001 the watch word has been
transparency and we have been willing to come out and say we have made a
mistake and we will try not to do it again and I think that has strengthen
KHMH a lot. Instead of making an excuse we have been able to come out and
say we are sorry and we will try not to make it happen again. We will
continue to have incidences just yesterday we had an incident with a
malfunction with the incinerator where it emitted quite a bit of smoke it
should not have done that we are looking at that an saying what can we do
to make sure it doesn't happen again. So we do have some disasters, yes,
are they acceptable? definitely not and we will do our best to make sure
that they do not happen again."

We asked Rosado for plans that the K-H-M-H is looking at for the immediate

Doctor Alvaro Rosado:

"To expand the Accident and Emergency section, we do have an architect who
is drawing up plans who will design an expansion of that unit the Accident
and Emergency Unit to accommodate some eight major trauma cases we have
actually been able to sit down and devise a strategic plan for the next
years we refer to it as a road map and it is based on the standards that
have been set for hospitals by PAHO and the World Health Organization. So
since April the board has approved the strategic plan and started
implementing since July. What this does is look at every aspect of the
hospital from security to signage to accessibility to the steps to the
every aspect of the hospital is looked at and certain standard is set for
every aspect we are in the process of implementing that road map and we
very excited and we are very challenged because it's the first time any
hospital in Belize has dared to try to reach the accreditation and
standards set by an international organization."

Rosado adds that some of the improvements planned for the future include
that hot meals are served to patients and that each patient gets a meal
that suits his medical diet. The first hospital in Belize City was built
in 1820.