Saturday, October 24, 2009


Belmopan Hospital


"Western Belize Happenings blog" did an investigation, due to many complaints about the Belmopan Hospital in our capital, here in Western Belize, letting people deliberately die, by shipping them in dire situations to the coastal port town hospital KMH very far away. The most recent allegation was a youth who had been stabbed and the doctors on duty wanted to use the CLOSED SURGERY OPERATING ROOM to suture the bleeder. Administration insisted under the POLY CLINIC policy system, recently imposed, that this would not be done. The staff said the youth would die, as his heart was pumping out the blood. The administration won and the youth was sent by Ambulance van to the port town hospital, two hours away and died as forecast, as he bled out enroute. This is not the first such death to occur and it has become obvious that if you are seriously injured, it is a DEATH SENTENCE to be sent from another DISTRICT HOSPITAL ( now called POLY CLINICS under the new policy )for an emergency requiring surgical care, to the Belmopan Hospital; which is our capital. In many cases the situation even at KMH down in the port town is no better. There are Cuban doctors in most district hospitals capable of saving lives and indeed want to do so. Unfortunately administrative bureaucrats run the roost and have made in my opinion, made a MOCKERY of the HEALTH SYSTEM, which was superior even 50 years ago in colonial days, than this new system of turning District Hospitals into POLY CLINICS, or more suitable called FIRST AID posts. Perhaps we could say a TRIAGE selection process, except most serious injured people will die in the process of transportation to the coast under the current system.

We looked at a number of allegations very briefly and not in depth. Our opinion is subjective and not any sort of scientific study of the situation. All of this is second hand information from Belmopan Hospital staff and patients going there. First off, there is an operating room for surgery at the Belmopan Hospital but under the new regime, staff are not allowed to use it. Urgent cases are always shipped by van to the coastal port, about 2 hours away. In that time, this policy is killing people. Those two intransit hours usually result in death. Some on the Belmopan staff say deliberately so, knowing prompt immediate surgery, on the spot, is the only solution.
There was a complaint that the Belmopan Hospital Pharmacy are overcharging for medicines. Apparently Spanish speaking Mestizo Belizeans are being discriminated against, or there is a money racket going on? Medicines are very expensive. We talked to some medical staff and were told there is no charge for medicine. Yet patients of the Mestizo Belizean farmer type rural extraction say they have to pay and often they cannot, they must do without. Or they are told there is no medicine, but when they go to senior staff, the staff go to the pharmacy and get the required prescription anyway. So, Pharmacy staff are obviously lying? Why?
There is at least one complaint against a Cuban doctor who does not want to do anything. Our investigation was brief, but perhaps this was an administrative person who has orders to restrict the Belmopan Hospital in our capital, solely to FIRST AID? We don’t know the circumstances for sure to judge here.
RACISM is rampant among the CREOLE nursing staff the patients say. Complaints were many against the nursing staff. From the racial profiling and complaints, it is probably better to ship all the Belmopan Hospital nursing staff to someplace where they feel more comfortable. Perhaps Dangriga or Punta Gorda?
RACISM is also rampant among patient visitors. CREOLE patients do not want to wait in line for service in the Emergency Room in Belmopan. They are loud and abusive and insisting they take priority over more serious cases being diagnosed and treated, ( bad manners, they don't queue for buses either, but push and shove ) if the people ahead of them are Belizeans of a Mestizo rural country type extraction. Much of the CREOLE patients in the Emergency room were there for frivolous minor things, like sniffles and colds. This preferential racist attitude has been taught by the HYDE Black Power media empire down in the coastal port town.
The nursing staff in BELMOPAN are reported as wanting to refuse ALL overnight bed medical cases coming from other towns. There are nine towns in the nation of Belize. Three of these towns are in the extreme areas of the country and any such medical cases must go through Belmopan because of the limited road system. The NEW San Ignacio Hospital, or Poly Clinic ( or FIRST AID STATION ) in San Ignacio has no beds for overnight cases and Belmopan do not wish to take overnight cases the nurses insist. The nurses are adamant they do not want overnight bed cases due to the shortages of beds, or elimination of beds in the new POLY CLINIC ( FIRST AID STATION SYSTEM ) in Punta Gorda, Dangriga, or San Ignacio town. They say through patients should be shipped to the coastal port of Belize City hospital directly. That adds several hours to any ambulance trip. That port hospital in turn is recommending to these patients, they go to the private sector ( for profit ) hospital in the port, which most people cannot pay their exorbitant fees. They don’t want to handle them at KMH, our so-called socialist medicine FREE government hospital. Perhaps we can get CHAVEZ in Venezuela to pay for our medical care in our district hospitals? There should be a solution?
Our conclusions are the complaints are legitimate. The solution is not so clear. Clearly the POLY CLINIC idea, or new policy of turning district town capital hospitals into FIRST AID STATIONS is not working out for the general public. Medical service is going down. Despite the fancy name attached to this policy. It is in fact, causing people to die. Some say this is even a deliberate result desired by the policy.
Our only uninformed recommendation would be that doctors ( usually Cuban volunteers ) be allowed to go back to practicing medicine, surgery and whatever is necessary to deal with emergencies in their own districts, on the spot, as needed. That the POLY CLINIC feeder policy dreamed up by some idiot ( not a doctor who would instantly realize seconds and minutes are valuable ), apparently a fancy name for a FIRST AID station be abandoned and that the government return hospitals back to doing prompt practical medicine. There are apparently financial and political reasons why this is not being done I suppose? All we can say is that medical treatment for serious emergencies in Belize is much worse now, than when it was back under the PUP. Though the new POLY CLINIC failed idea, presumably came from the PUP in the first place. All I know is that the nursing staff is seemingly racially discriminating. That Belmopan is not a Hospital, but a FIRST AID CLINIC, though it has all the staff and equipment to become a hospital. Nor apparently is the new San Ignacio POLY CLINIC a hospital anymore, as it has no overnight beds. It has been designated as basically like a village clinic, first aid station.
Medical treatment for citizens in Belize has become infinitely worse.

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