On Wednesday night, the Belize Medical and Dental Association met to discuss the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the healthcare system, in public and private facilities across the country. The situation is grave as the number of cases that require hospitalization and urgent medical attention is overwhelming the system. Doctor Fernando Cuellar, who attended the meeting, has shared serious concerns with the public via a round of media appearances. In speaking with News Five this evening, he reiterated the point that the ratio of patients to nurses has been stretched thin.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Internist, Belize Medical Associates

ďOur healthcare system or hospitals is now overwhelmed. Itís not getting overwhelmed. Weíve passed the saturation point, weíve passed the limit. We are strained and that refers to both public and private and public means the regional hospitals and of course the flagship being Karl Heusner. So we are overwhelmed in terms of, we donít have enough physical spaces, we donít have enough ventilators, we donít have enough blood/gas machines, we donít have enough medication and importantly and perhaps most importantly the human resources are being depleted. A lot of nurses now have, a lot of them are in quarantine, they do long hours. The patient/nurse ratio is very stretched, the doctors are overworked. So definitely, the human resources is one of the most important things that is or has become overwhelmed. So my message was for the Belizean people, for them to realize that we eena trouble okay, we eena deep doo-doo and we need to bear that in mind so that we can do something so as the numbers so that we can fight the virus.Ē

Channel 5