General — 13 February 2016 — by Johnelle McKenzie
KHMH raises fees

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Feb. 9, 2016–Starting February 15, patients who access the clinical services of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) will see an increase in their hospital bill.

Norman Augustine, Director of Finance of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, said that clinical services are medical services offered to patients who make an appointment to see a specialist. Augustine added that the present contribution patients are paying for these services constitutes only “16% of what it costs to run the unit and the new price will take the patient’s contribution up 32%”.

Also, patients will see an increase in their physiotherapy fees; however, this will take effect on March 1. Augustine said patients utilizing that unit are currently paying “$15 for their initial visit and $10” for subsequent visits; however, starting March 1, patients will be paying “$30 for their initial visit and $20 for every subsequent visit”. Augustine said that the new price will increase the patient’s contribution from “16.75% to 33.5% of what it costs to run the unit.”

Augustine said that presently patients only pay 40% of their bill; as a result, this increases government’s contribution from 80% to 90%. Therefore, the hospital is on a campaign to get patients to pay their hospital bills, and to collect additional revenue by means of the new price increases. They even have an advertisement being run on the radio stations and printed in the newspapers to increase public awareness of the initiative.

Augustine added that one’s healthcare should be of the utmost importance, and so he advises the public to set aside monies to meet these expenses, so that when a health expense does arise, it will not be overly burdensome.

“The raise is to contribute to the continual running of the hospital”, Augustine said, and he stressed that we all need to do our part to ensure that the KHMH will still be around for everyone and continue to provide the much needed services to the community.

There are other improvements being made to the hospital such as renovating the surgical ward in order “to make the hospital more user-friendly”, Augustine also noted.

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