Nurse Maria Ack: she has bonded over the years with dialysis patients at Belize Healthcare Partners Limited. So much so that when she tendered her resignation because of working conditions in December 2009, her patients risked their well-being to stage a protest outside the hospital. Ack was the only certified dialysis nurse in the country and when emergencies arose, she was a lifesaver and her patients trusted no one else. Well, Nurse Ack has once against left her post at BHPL, on the expiration of her contract at the end of 2010. So before another protest take shape, News Five asked the Public Relations Officer at BHPL, Collet Montejo, who takes over from Ack. And he says, the kidney patients need not worry because they are in the very capable hands of the country’s second certified dialysis nurse.
Collet Montejo, Public Relations Officer, BHPL
“Nurse Ack had contract extensions up to the end of December. What we did—initially we granted her a six month contract up to the end of June of last year and then extended that for an additional six months and it ended on December thirty-first of last year.”
“So who takes over in the dialysis department now?”
“Okay, for the entire year last year, 2010, we had Nurse Ingrid Gomes, who had worked in the dialysis unit prior, we allowed her to go to Guatemala to become dialysis certified. So she was studying, she graduated sometime in December so hence she has taken over the unit now and she is the second certified dialysis nurse in the country.”
“The patients in last year and late 2009, they protested and all this to have Miss Ack stay here because she was pretty much the only person they trusted in cases of emergencies and so on. What kind of assurance can you give to them now?”
Nurse Maria Ack
“We can assure the patients that the nurse that was sent to train is fully capable. She has proven her worth, she has all the documentations required etcetera and the level of care she will provide for them is of the same caliber. That is the assurance we want to give the patients and the general public. The patients that we have treated, it’s been very positive. We understand that their rapport with Nurse Ack and what have you but as a company, we’ve decided to get other people trained and hence, as soon as they are trained and they return we allow them to do the job that they are sent to train for.”
Montejo says BHPL will be sending other nurses to train and be certified. Meanwhile, the patients’ current concern is that they are not given enough sessions under the government program.