The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Workers Union has planned a demonstration for tomorrow, which will see inclusion from the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). Several concerns have been raised regarding the demonstration. The KHMH Workers Union has met with several health officials, Government officials, and their board to come to an amicable solution when it comes to using the KHMH as an isolation area. The Union had a sit down with the officials four o’clock today to determine their stance.
Andrew Baird, Vice President, K.H.M.H Workers Union: “The PAHO report on the isolation unit here at Karl Heusner would be tabled, we will look at it, based on what PAHO is saying in comparison to what our research is and what is international standards if there is any compromise then we would bring it back to the staff and the union members here at K.H.M.H in a meeting possibly either late this evening or early tomorrow morning for us to decide on but at this time our position that we have been taking from the couple days ago is that Karl Heusner should not host isolated patients with Covid-19 here in the institution that position remains the same. We have not managed to make any compromise as yet, either party hasn’t made any compromise.”
Reporter: And so then as you await the outcome of the PAHO review or assessment if I could put it that way it means that the demonstrations stands or not ?
Andrew Baird, Vice President, K.H.M.H Workers Union: “At this time we have not called off any of our actions until we see the PAHO report and we see the actual plan of the K.H.M.H which all will be revealed in the meeting this evening but again it was our membership and staff who have directed us in reference to the demonstration so when we have that meeting based on what we see in the reports and the plan of action for Covid-19 for Karl Heusner then we would be able to bring those information back to the staff and then we would be guided there and then.”
Lidia Alpuche Blake, President, K.H.M.H. Workers Union:“We take our guide from our membership as I said we are going to now sit down the Labor Minister Honorable Dr.Carla Barnett and the Labor Commissioner sat in the meetings as mediators and they have instructed us to come back. We reviewed together all parties together the PAHO report the Covid-19 plan from Karl Heusner and then we take it back to our membership and the the membership decides our next move and if we continue our twenty one day strike notice.”
The Union also spoke on the issues that arose regarding isolation and crowd avoidance due to the COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Andrew Baird, Vice President, K.H.M.H Workers Union: “As an executive we have looked at that as far as the demonstration is concerned there are different theories that were brought to the table that maybe if we do the demonstration we should do it in files of forty and stay that file of forty six feet apart and stuff like that which is right within what CDC is saying. Remember they did not discourage gathering they said under fifty or less people gathering but we will put that to the table tomorrow or later this evening when we meet with the staff and it is for the staff and the membership to decide on how we go about doing such. Another note, I would just like to dispel this rumor or notion that is out there by some people that is saying that this movement that Karl Heusner Workers Union is doing is about money and- I want to say clearly to the general public that this has no consideration about money, this is about the best interest of the people of this country, the front line health workers of Karl Heusner and the Ministry of Health at large. We have no time to think about dollars with people’s lives on the line, we want to know that the workers when they are called upon that we are prepared and ready with our PPEs, that we are prepared and ready as far as safety concerns with our isolation unit and things like that and again I want to make another thing clear, the K.H.M.H workers are not saying that we don’t want to take care of these patients we are saying the ICU should not be in Karl Heusner. So if it is that they would decide to take it somewhere else and they call upon our expertise from Karl Heusner whether it be the domestic, the nurse, the doctor whoever may be here at Karl Heusner we are prepared to work it’s just that we are looking at safety we are looking at the purpose Karl Heusner serves the country of Belize and the undermining of that purpose by hosting these isolated patients here.”
We will have more details on the outcome of the meeting held this evening in our subsequent newscast.