BTB and KHMH Sign MOU For Urgent Repairs of Accident & Emergency Dept.

BELIZE CITY, Belize, Monday, 12 February 2024:  In a landmark move to enhance healthcare facilities and support the nation’s vital tourism industry, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at addressing urgent post-Covid repairs and renovations to the Accident and Emergency Department (A & E) of KHMH.

The MOU was signed by Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations,  Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness, Mr. Evan Tillett, Director of Tourism, and Ms. Chandra N. Cansino, Chief Executive Officer of KHMH,

“This MOU is a testament to the harmonious partnership between the tourism and healthcare sectors in Belize. Our nation, with its pristine landscapes and warm hospitality, has long been a favored destination for travelers worldwide. However, the ongoing global challenges, remind us of the paramount importance of prioritizing the health and safety of our people and those who choose Belize as their destination,” stated Minister Mahler. He added: “The BTB’s commitment to these urgent repairs underscores our belief that a healthy community is fundamental to a thriving tourism industry. By investing in its improvement, we are not only meeting the immediate needs of our citizens but also ensuring that Belizeans and visitors to Belize can rely on first-hand healthcare services should the need arise.”

Minister Bernard commented: “The KHMH is very committed to improving and elevating the quality of care we provide to the public. We are committed to striving for excellence in all the services we offer especially Emergency Care to the Belizean public and to our visitors and tourists who visit our shores.”  Furthermore, he added that “In the unfortunate event of an accident or mass casualty, we must be prepared. A very critical part of being able to give the best quality care is the infrastructure of our facilities therefore the assistance being provided by the BTB to renovate and upgrade our emergency care unit is extremely appreciated and will go a long way in achieving our collective goals of providing quality care to all.”

As part of the MOU agreement, the Belize Tourism Board has pledged $600,000 to fund critical repairs and improvements. The project scope includes the complete renovation of the Accident & Emergency Department including repairs to the walls and floors, improvements to the AC system, updating life-saving equipment such as cardiac monitors, defibrillators, and mechanical ventilators, as well as upgraded hospital beds and related patient care facilities. The renovations not only signify a significant step towards upgrading healthcare services but also align with the Belize Tourism Board’s dedication to maintaining high standards in both tourism and health sectors for the benefit of Belizeans and visitors alike. 

Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, being the nation’s primary healthcare institution, plays a pivotal role in providing medical services to the people of Belize. The A & E Department was originally designed to serve a population of 200,000, but since 1995 that population has doubled and so has the demand for services. 

The MOU represents a merger of tourism and healthcare, demonstrating a shared vision for a resilient and thriving Belize. The BTB remains committed to supporting initiatives that contribute to the overall safety, welfare, and positive experience for Belizeans and those who choose Belize as their vacation destination.

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