And while the KHMH celebrates another year of serving the country, it continues to face challenges both external and internal. The infrastructure of the nation’s referral hospital needs urgent repairs but those repairs are costly. Chairman of the KHMHA Board, Dr. Andre Sosa, told us more.
Reporter: Is the KHMH infrastructure sound?
Dr. Andre Sosa, Board Chairman, KHMH: “It is 27 years old and there is a lot of work that is needed to upkeep and upgrade. Work is being done constantly but the short answer to your question is that there is a lot of additional work that needs to be done and that is part of the reason why this board is pushing for a major investment to increase the infrastructure to replace some of the structures that we have presently which were built for a different climate than the one which we are. The roof is always a problem and we had a recent study last year which showed significant issues with the roof and we were quoted about 600,000 dollars which is a staggering amount. That is a situation that no institution should have to face on a regular basis. It is important that we expand the footprint of this institution and that we build in a manner that is more compatible in the climate in which we live.”
Reporter: How urgent are the fixes needed?
Dr. Andre Sosa, Board Chairman, KHMH: “As any homeowner would understand, the sooner they’re done, the better but we have to pace ourselves because there are so many demands coming at us from all directions not least of which is our payroll that absorbs around 80 to 90 percent of the subvention we receive. It is important therefore that those who seek attention here help us by paying the small fees comparable to what they would pay outside. Those fees help us to garner, to gather the money necessary, to do repairs, to buy equipment and to replenish our stocks.”
Attending today’s event was Prime Minister John Briceno who underscored the importance of keeping the KHMH’s infrastructure up to date.
John Briceño, Prime Minister: “We know that the building itself we have problems with it. You know, the last time it was cracking and we have to fix that. We’re looking at what are the long plans for Karl Heusner? Do we have to build another hospital in another part of the city? As it is we are looking at how we can build another tertiary institution in Belmopan. What is happening is that Karl Heusner is bursting at its seams because everybody comes here so we have to share the work and not depend solely on only one institution. God forbid a hurricane hits Belize City and that’s the only, this is the only real tertiary institution that we have, as a country we’re going to be in trouble. So we have to think long term and we have to see how we can continue to build on what we have to serve our people best.”