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KHMH structural problems could have been prevented, says PUP Leader

The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City is experiencing structural failures. The problem was identified when debris fell from the roof last week. Engineers were called in to inspect the 25 year old structure and found out that that there is stress failure in multiple areas of the beam network within the KHMH. The matter is considered so serious that a full evacuation was proposed. More than a hundred reinforcement pillars have been installed. This, of course, is just a temporary solution to a serious problem. An engineering team from Mexico is expected to be in country in two days to inspect the KHMH and offer a permanent solution to the problem. Meanwhile, the KHMH is functionality has been reduced to fifty percent. Only deliveries and Caesarean sections and life threatening emergencies are being addressed until the problem is permanently fixed. This could have been avoided says the People’s United Party. Leader John Briceno told the media this evening that the KHMH Board knew of the problem and failed to do something about it.

John Briceno, Leader, PUP

I think what is more troubling is that the board of directors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and the Minister Marin were fully aware of what is taking place there since as early as 2010; even John Saldivar’s sister who was there as the I think was in charge of personnel- operations director- knew full well what was happening so they knew; the Government knew that they had to fix it, they knew that there was a structural problem and they had a big party with the PetroCaribe money and used it for political patronage and giving out contracts to UDP cronies and have enriched a few UDP operatives who have become multi-millionaires yet the number one health institution of this country, probably the only hospital that provides what they call ‘tertiary services’ in the country has been neglected. They could have used that money from way back then and addressed it earlier on. I think what has made it worse is that over the past year or two there have been earthquakes in the region that have shook a lot of buildings in Belize and the earthquake with the shaking make it even worse the cracks are really showing more and the plaster is breaking off. So yes it is a structural problem but the government, the UDP government fully knew the problem and they refused to address it earlier and now here now we have this emergency where certain services are not being offered to Belizeans and if you don’t have money what will you do? You can’t go to Health Partners or Medical Associates you could only go to Karl Heusner and you can’t get those services. So we hold the government accountable for that.

Briceno says that repairs to the KHMH should have been made since the Government makes yearly allocation for these types of issues.