You are receiving this email because you are a BTIA member or because you've expressed interest in assisting in community efforts.
The following is an exciting update about the expansion of services at the San Pedro Polyclinic and the renaming of the clinic.
As a result of San Pedro BTIA's (SP-BTIA) lobbying and advocacy effort, I am excited to report that the GOB has agreed to commit an additional $200K immediately towards the clinic in order to fund the following:
1) Clinic will be open from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday. 8am to 12pm on Saturdays.
2) GOB has purchased and will install a new xray machine, ultrasound, EKG machine, and lab equipment.
3) GOB will hire and pay for 11 new staff members, including a lab technician, pharmacy staff, dental assistant, etc. These additional staff members will allow for the expanded hours noted in #1 and will enable the clinic to perform on-site lab testing, xrays, and a number of other services that it currently does not provide.
4) A doctor and nurse on call 24 hours a day at a dedicated phone number.
This expansion will bring the GOB's total expenditure on the San Pedro Polyclinic up from $1 million annually to more than than $1.2 million per year. FYI, in 2010, the clinic served more than 26,000 patients. And that figure is likely under reported, since it does not include community outreach, patients who could not come to the clinic, etc.
In return, we have committed that the private sector will provide $100K per year for two years. SP-BTIA will work with the Lion's Den, SPBA, and Town Council to raise the funds. SP-BTIA will be responsible for organizing the fund raising, collecting and accounting for the funds, disbursing the funds to GOB, providing timely and transparent accounting of the funds, and will hold the GOB accountable for what they have agreed to provide. Details of the fund raising effort will be shared in the coming weeks. For now, I'm happy to report that we have already received a significant financial commitment from a local business group. Rest assured, we will be calling on everyone to contribute.
These private sector funds will be used for a variety of improvements including:
1) Pediatrician and OB/GYN coming from Belize once a week to see patients at the clinic by appointment. We will pay for their salaries and transportation to/from the island.
2) Installation of proper lead shielding to make the x-ray room useable. GOB has acquired the machine. We will pay to outfit the the xray room. This will enable patients to have x-rays done onsite.
3) Acquisition of golf cart. Vehicle will be used for variety of tasks but, most importantly, community outreach, immunizations, public health initiatives, health inspections, etc.
4) Acquisition of additional lab equipment. GOB has purchased the primary lab equipment. We will pay for additional lab equipment that will allow most every basic lab test to be performed on site. Currently, lab work is sent to Belize, where results are available in 3-5 days. Soon, we will be able to have lab results in a matter of hours, not days.
In year 2, we will work with the clinic's board to determine best use of funds, which might include the hiring of more specialists, purchasing additional equipment, etc. The goal is that after 2 years, the GOB will absorb all of these additional costs into their budget.
Finally, in a meeting at the clinic yesterday with the Minister of Health, the CEO of the Ministry of Health, Minister Heredia, Dr. Zuniga, President of the Lion's Club, Baldemar Graniel, and several others, I asked that the clinic be renamed in honor of Dr. Otto. Everyone agreed. So, the clinic will now be known as The Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic.
A ceremony is planned at the clinic on Friday, October 7 to announce the expanded hours and services. And the new name of the clinic will be unveiled at that time. The new hours should become effective October 10th.
There are many more details that I have omitted here that I would be happy to discuss offline with all of you. I think this represents a significant step forward for our clinic and healthcare on the island. I know that various individuals and organizations have been working tirelessly on this effort for the past few years, so I'm grateful that we had the opportunity to build on their work to accomplish this. That said, the hard work now begins, as alot needs to happen in order to turn these commitments into reality. And our community will have to step up and do our part.
I look forward to working with all of you on all of this.
All figures in Belize Dollars.