Today, a refurbished Labour and Delivery Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital was officially launched and opened to the public. The planning process began about two years ago and after getting the necessary funding, the in-house maintenance staff got to work. Today, over one hundred and forty thousand dollars later, the project was realized. News Five's Duane Moody attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and files this report.�

Duane Moody, Reporting

Expecting mothers will now have an improved experience when delivering their babies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. That is because today, a newly refurbished Labour and Delivery Unit was officially opened to the public. It is a milestone for the national referral hospital and very much needed. While the bed capacity remains at seven for the transient unit, the improvements are primarily for technical operations and the response to obstetrical emergencies.

Michelle Hoare, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

"We actually were able to successfully complete the specs in terms of the floor plan, the layout, the renovations about maybe seven months ago and we were looking for the funding to support the project given what we had just recently gone through with the structural repairs that we had. The minister of health was here at the time and he committed to supporting a portion of it. So the total project cost just over a hundred and forty thousand dollars of which fifty percent of that total was supported through the Minister of Health."

Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

"We saw all the inconvenience that patients had before. So when C.E.O. came in, we spoke about it and she did the walkthrough also with me and we realized that this is very essential. I have said it before and I will say it again, we need to repair our facilities."

…and so, some two years later and having invested over one hundred and forty thousand dollars, the Labour and Delivery Unit has been retrofitted to provide better service to the public. With a waiting area, properly installed gas lines and ready to go staff, C.E.O. Michelle Hoare says that the amenities will allow for obstetricians and gynaecologists, as well as properly trained midwifes to provide top notch services to pregnant women during their time of delivery-whether naturally or by c-section.

Michelle Hoare

"About fifty percent of that went to the upgrade of medical gases which actually was done in three of the main areas of this labour and delivery area. The Labour Room which is just across the room from here, we upgraded medical gases, so there is a three bed capacity in that room and in each of those bed, there is medical gas support. And the reason for that is in case of any emergency; patients running into crisis may need monitoring, oxygen, intubation, those type of critical care emergencies, the medical gas support allows for that.� In both of the delivery rooms, this being one of the two delivery rooms, there is also the medical gas support-as you see right here on the wall. And on our post delivery room, there is a capacity for four beds and in all four beds, there is medical gas support. So that was the bulk of the cost for this project."

Minister of Health, Pablo Marin says that going forward the mission is to rehabilitate existing health facilities.

Pablo Marin

"We need to repair our facilities. It is hard for me now to do new ones in different locations because to get the staff is very hard for us at the moment. But for us to renovate and what you're seeing now is renovation-that is what we are doing and we will concentrate on it. I want to also say that by September, October, we suppose to start through SIF, the polyclinic in Belmopan. That is one of them that is really needed and that is the way we are moving forward."


"So the intention is to improve all the medical facilities countrywide, one-by-one?"

Pablo Marin

"Yes, definitely and that is what you are going to see. Right now we have two main projects-one with the E.U. and the other one with PAHO-is for us to try to do smart hospitals and that is where we are going to improve all the facilities."

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