Health Minister Ensures KHMH CT Scan Machine Functionality

Health Minister Ensures KHMH CT Scan Machine Functionality

Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard, paid a visit to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) earlier today as the facility recently received its CT scan machine.  Minister Bernard was there this morning to personally ensure that the equipment is on its way to full functionality, and to ensure that the staff training is being capitalized on.  According to Bernard, the feedback from the Radiology Department has been rewarding.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness: “When I went there you could see the excitement on the faces of the radiologists. They were very excited. I mean they said one of doctors who was there said that this is something very beneficial, something that they needed for so long and they’re very much pleased and happy that we were able to get this for them to make their life easier but not only them but to make the life of the Belizean citizens who need that service easier. You imagine when patients had to go to KHMH had to leave the KHMH as a radiologist pointed it out every second that patient left that facility to go to a private facility to get a CT scan is time lost that somebody could die. So now that this machine is at KHMH you could wheel a person whose life really requires that analysis to be done quickly and timely that can be done right there at KHMH and get the proper decisions made right there by the doctors who are responsible then to check on that patient. So they were very excited. I must say that I think this is also a boost to the unit, to the department and to our radiologists who are trained to carry out their functionality now on these scans.”

As it relates to cost, Minister Bernard explained that there is a significant difference when using a private facility compared to using the KHMH.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness: “One of the things that we’re talking about and I’ve consulted with the CEO just a while ago that in terms of you know when you go to the private sector and you get a CT Scan that is what you call contrast and no contrast, you get a no contrast CT scan it ranges between $395 to about $485, $500 and if you get a CT with contrast then that you’re talking about a range between $700 to even $1,000 and if you have to do more than one scan you could talk about almost $3,000. As opposed to that KHMH the maximum we are going to charge for a CT scan that requires that level of intervention is about $300 to $350 most and so it is a huge impact. And we’ve also agreed if there is a patient who is in ICU who more likely can’t afford to pay for a CT scan those will be put as a priority and offer that service based on emergency need for even, I don’t want to say free but for even less. So those are discussions that the board is finalizing but you could let the Belizean people know that it will be a very low and affordable cost to anybody who requires that service.”

The 128-slice cutting-edge equipment was delivered to the KHMH on February 27 for installation.  According to Minister Bernard, the equipment should be fully available for scans within a week or two.

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