Thursday, June 4, 2009


This young mother in the maternity ward with two patients, screamed and screamed for the nurses to help her with her baby, last week. She gave birth herself and was ignored and the baby died from loss of oxygen, by the cord wrapping around the neck. The nurses were busy chatting and ignored her. This week another baby died under circumstances in which staff refused to treat the baby. ( source television news in Belize )
Punta Gorda Hospital in remote Toledo District in Southern Belize
A country home near Punta Gorda, Belize


The President of Taiwan has said on his recent visit that he would assist Belize on special projects. Here is one project that his country can assist Belize. The TOLEDO DISTRICT medical system is dysfunctional. Partly because of lack of money and partly because of lack of training of medical staff. They are reputedly using untrained amateurs to do the work of professionals according to media reporting. Deaths by neglect, of sick children are becoming more common.
A recent spate of unprofessional patient and customer service has resulted in two known children deaths and other problems with medical service in our remote Toledo District of Belize has come to light, so say the television news reporters for Belize City. It is only with the traveling of a port town news television media, that attention is being drawn to the neglect of the remote high rain forest country of the Toledo District. Television reporting on our remoter parts of our nation have been neglected up until now. The last year has seen a slight improvement. As they say, OUT OF SIGHT – OUT OF MIND.
There are about 25,000 people scattered in remote farming hamlets and villages in the highland jungles, numbering around 35 communities all through the mountainous high rain forest of the Toledo District. There are numerous problems, mostly due to political neglect by a system of political preferences of dealing mainly with only one city, the Port of Belize City. The other problem is the government of the day, simply does not have the money to deal with all the requests for various kinds of assistance.
What could be done by the Republic of Taiwan is a project of medical assistance to the Toledo District of Belize. I would suggest that two Taiwanese trained nurses be assigned to the Punta Gorda Hospital and another two nurses, to the new Polyclinic in San Antonio Town. While the system seems clear on the way they are supposed to work in paper plans; in performance, the system is dysfunctional and downright failing. This is nothing new for this remote Southern small scale farming area of the country of Belize, but it is only the advent of the occasional television news reporters bothering to go cover stories in the Toledo District this past six months, that the rest of the country is even hearing about the problems caused by political dysfunction and competition politically, for inadequate financial resources from limited government revenues. Recent untreated sick children deaths on television news have outlined the problems. There is either no copper wire telephone link between the Polyclinic in San Antonio Town in the mountainous foothills, and Punta Gorda Hospital on the coast, to arrange referrals of patients back and forth between them for better health care in some sort of new bureaucratic planned paper written system that does not work. Or the cost of telephoning is above the ability of the staff to pay out of their own pocket and they have no budget to cover telephone calls. When both Polyclinic and Hospital staff REFUSE to treat sick patients in the district and play the bureaucratic game of sending them back and forth, because their bureaucratic rules don't fit emergencies, without telephone communication in this difficult high rainfall district, this is too much for us taxpayers to tolerate. We in Western Belize feel outraged at the lack of citizen service to the public in this remote Toledo District.
Taiwan could send the trained nurses to do shift work and organize things in administration and performance and make these remote district government community health units workable. They could also advise the Taiwanese Ambassador directly, of the things these two places need in medical equipment and training tutorial aids and have Taiwan send directly through the Taiwanese Ambassador these materials, to end up in both the Polyclinic and the PG Hospital. If donations are not directed around our entrenched medical establishment, political preferences tend to steal the donations for more powerful political area representatives in places of Belize, that already have everything. The Toledo elected political Area Representatives are often amateurish, kept out of the political loop of power politics on the national scene, or unable to compete within the ruling party and make sure they get their fair share of needed medical things on a competitive system of priorities. Distribution of medical equipment and resource training is more often based on political power within the UDP party, vocal bluster and noise and intimidation, rather than by scientific facts, or district budget plans.
The President of Taiwan offered to do specific projects for Belize in the near future, instead of sending money to the government of Belize, the newspapers reported on this recent Presidential visit. If this is so, then this is one project Taiwan could improve health services in our remote neglected Toledo District, that obviously needs it. The administrative staff of the Punta Gorda Hospital need their nursing licenses revoked and expelled from the profession. We need people who care about people and when somebody sick comes in, they are treated immediately, at once by staff on hand. Irregardless of where they originate from in the country of Belize. Our population of the Toledo District may be uneducated, speak a different language at home and are farmers from remote muddy jungle locations, but that does not mean they are unimportant to the country of Belize to be treated like DIRT, by so-called superior medical staff with salaried jobs. TAIWAN HELP US! Take this on as a project.

No comments: