PM Briceno Defends Proposed Belmopan Hospital Amid Union’s Criticism

PM Briceno Defends Proposed Belmopan Hospital Amid Union’s Criticism

Prime Minister, John Briceno, says members of the K.H.M.H. Workers Union are not seeing the bigger picture after the union spoke out against GOB’s newly proposed hospital in Belmopan. Last week, the union issued a release criticizing GOB for seeking a nine-million-dollar loan to build a new tertiary-level hospital, while the KHMH remains in poor condition. The union says that the hospital remains short of doctors, nurses, and basic medications and believes the millions of dollars could be invested in other areas of healthcare. However, PM Briceno says while he understands the union, there is a need for a tertiary-level university hospital to improve the health sector for generations to come. 

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “We have to be strategic in what we’re doing. Karl Heusner has reached probably it’s max it doesn’t have much space to expand. The idea is for us to build a new hospital in Belize probably in the Lake I area you know we have land available so that then we can have two regional hospitals in Belize that can provide some sort of tertiary services. But the truth is that if a hurricane were to hit Belize City Belize country is going to lose it’s only tertiary level hospital so the plan and what we discussed in Plan Belize was then to set up a new regional hospital in Belmopan, the hospital in Belmopan has been condemned it’s no good, so the only way we can do is we have to redo it and so we want to do a regional hospital with tertiary services so that then that could help relieve the pressure from Karl Heusner initially to be able to take care of the Cayo district, Stann Creek district and the Toledo district so it relieves that pressure and also God forbid that we have a hurricane our patients from Karl Huesner can can shelter in Belmopan with the necessary facilities to look after them. Karl Heusner needs help ? Of course. They need more equipment ? Yes they need more equipment and we’re also working towards that. We’re working with CABEI to see if we could get some more funding to be able to do that. The issue right now with the Saudis we have just signed an agreement – we just had diplomatic relations with the Saudis in last year September at the UN we signed the diplomatic agreement between both countries and one of the first things they said well we’re prepared to help you with a project and so they’re lending us this money to build this hospital at 2% per annum, five years we pay nothing and then we have another 20 years to pay that loan so it will give us the opportunity to build that hospital and to that hospital attach a university to be able to train our doctors and nurses. So whilst I understand what the union from Karl Heusner they’re talking about they’re being a bit nearsighted.”

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