BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 2, 2019– A Belize City mechanic who has been diagnosed with a hernia has been getting the run-around for over one year now. First it was the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, now it is the Belize Social Security Board.
After making a number of trips to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Ronnie Castillo finally got to see a specialist, who told him he needed an operation for a hernia, but he said the folks at the KHMH told him that his situation is not serious enough and only if he is dying would the hospital perform the hernia operation on him.
This left Castillo, 49, with no choice but to try to raise the money for his operation. Castillo told us that he has been paying his Social Security contributions since he began working at age 22.
Castillo told us that it has been one year now since he approached the Belize Social Security Board for assistance to help him to get the operation for the hernia.
“I approached them on March 27, 2018,” Castillo recalled.
Castillo explained that he was given some forms to fill out and after a number of trips to the Belize City Social Security Board’s office he eventually got everything that they asked him for.
Castillo said he provided the Social Security Board with a number of invoices from different doctors estimating the cost of the operation he needs, the estimates ranging from a high of $55,000, to a low of $1,800.
Castillo said that his hernia condition continues to get worse and he is suffering from increasing pain.
“They promised that they would get in touch with me,” Castillo told us.
Castillo said that when he finally heard from the Social Security Board they told him that they can only afford to assist him with $500.
So, after working for 27 years, Castillo is only entitled to that miserly sum, which does not cover the cost of his hernia operation.