During the budget debate, Minister of Health Pablo Marin addressed the issues facing the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. As we have reported, the KHMH is facing structural problems which have caused it to operate at fifty percent capacity. The Operating theatre, the Central Sterilization Unit, the Imaging Department, Specialist Clinics, the Pharmacy and dietary services have all been affected. After a preliminary assessment, it was decided to bring in Mexican engineers to fully inspect the 25 year old structure. Critics such as the People’s United Party have blamed the Ministry of Health for not having addressed the matter sooner in order to prevent these issues. During the budget debate, Minister Marin, explained that no one knew of the failures which were caused by an earthquake in the region.
Pablo Marin, Minister of Health: “What the Ministry of Health offers KHMH is the connection that we have with Mexico and a group of experts that have the long history of building hospitals and assessing infrastructure post seismic activities. Madam Speaker I have three reports here from the different engineers. The first thing that they mention is for us to do propping and that was done immediately. Each one of them mentioned that the hospital could have been used at the full capacity just that we have to monitor the props everyday until when we have repaired the hospital. The member from Cayo North East, you did get a report for maintenance. The report for maintenance was to fix up windows, doors, paint, the tiles that were breaking off, to paint and I think another one was the AC. They never could have seen the beams inside the drop ceiling. When we had the seismic that I think it was about 7.8 on the Richter Scale and that shifted and that is one of the engineers mentone. “7.8 earthquake quake on January 9th 2018.” this affected us and this is what shifted a little bit the hospital and all the corbels that are holding the second beam because there are two beams there that was what broke loose.”
The Mexican team of engineers which will play an essential role in solving this problem specializes in the design and construction of hospitals.