PUNTA GORDA, Toledo District, Fri. Mar. 19, 2021– The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is embarking on an initiative to retrofit six healthcare facilities in Belize: the Punta Gorda Community Hospital, the Corozal Community Hospital, the Southern Regional Hospital, Northern Regional Hospital, Western Regional Hospital, and Central Medical Laboratory, and it has already facilitated site visits by prospective contractors to the Punta Gorda Hospital.
Through the Health Sector Support Programme, which is funded by the European Union (EU), 6.8 million Euros will be allocated to strengthen and improve the healthcare system in Belize through retrofitting that will be done in a climate-friendly and disaster-resilient way. This program falls under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) agreement between Belize and the European Union.
The first site visits by prospective contractors were scheduled at the Punta Gorda Community Hospital, the Corozal Community Hospital, and the Southern Regional Hospital. The other facilities are scheduled to have their contractor site visits in the upcoming weeks.
These site visits allowed prospective contractors to examine the facilities in order to assess and identify areas of the facilities that need retrofitting. Additionally, it allowed the Acting Regional Manager, Mrs. Floridalia Quiroz, and the Design and Inspection Consultant, Mr. Ariel Mitchell, to answer questions of interest put forward by the contractors.
The retrofitting project is being carried out to strengthen the health sector as a response to the pandemic. Dr. Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative of Belize said, “As COVID-19 has shown us, the capability to respond and deliver care safely during emergencies including disaster-related situations is key in becoming a ‘smart’ health facility. Through this partnership with the European Union, we will be able to reduce vulnerability in six of Belize’s healthcare facilities while strengthening structural and non-structural aspects, including increasing operational savings.”