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KHMH and BTB sign MOU

HighlightsKHMH and BTB sign MOU

Photo: (l-r) Evan Tillett, Director of Tourism; Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations; Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness and Nicole Solano, CEO, Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 12, 2024

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to initiate urgent post-Covid repairs and upgrades to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department (A&E).

The initiative, announced on February 12, sees the BTB investing $600,000 into the critical enhancements of the KHMH facilities.

This project will encompass a complete overhaul of the A&E Department, including structural repairs, modernizing air conditioning systems, updating life-saving equipment, and improving patient care amenities.

“If you are serious about tourism as a destination, then you know that infrastructure is important, and so, healthcare is important for the people coming and visiting Belize, [it] is important for our Belizeans. This collaboration is with the hospital, and that’s because there is a desperate need for the emergency room to be upgraded with equipment, and even the infrastructure there,” Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism, elaborated.

Addressing the financial strategy for such projects, Minister Mahler indicated that the BTB budgets with a focus on infrastructure crucial to tourism.

“When we budget we say we want to look at certain infrastructure, so healthcare is one, security is the other one; infrastructure in terms of roads and access roads to sites and attractions. Key areas where we believe that tourism needs the support for, and so that’s how we decided to do these projects,” he said.

The KHMH, Belize’s principal healthcare institution, has experienced a doubling in demand since its establishment to serve a population of 200,000. The MOU signifies a combined effort of tourism and healthcare sectors to meet this demand and promote a resilient Belize.

“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,” commented Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Kevin Bernard.

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