CITIZENS ORGANIZED FOR LIBERTY THROUGH ACTION (COLA)
BELIZE CITY, Wed. May 22, 2013 – Birth is one of the miracles of human life. New life in the world is a reminder that life continues even after we die.
Twelve premature babies, dead prematurely at the hands of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in the month of May thus far, they did not get a chance to live life, to see their dreams and goals, whatever they may have been, achieved. Their parents are left to wonder why, to ask how our health system could have failed us in this way.
And it is a failure – a failure of the hospital and the staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; a failure of the Board of Directors of the Hospital Authority and a failure of the Ministry of Health. The families did what they could, but when the time came for the State to do the rest, it failed, a mortal wound.
This goes beyond mere condemnation and contrition. This goes to the fundamental humanity in all of us.
So far, the response of the Hospital and of the Ministry has been monumentally feeble. Another investigation – what will that achieve? Another report – what will that do to salve the hearts of the families rented asunder by this most grievous of violations? It is nothing, it is meant to be nothing.
We remind Minister of Health Pablo Marin that on his watch there was alleged corruption at the Hospital which was never satisfactorily resolved. We remind Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts of Cenaida Raymundo and Andy Jones of Toledo, of the babies of Orange Walk, that also did not get a chance to live. We remind CEO Dr. Peter Allen and CEO Dr. Gary Longsworth of their first oaths to their profession: to do no harm.
Your response is not enough. It will never be enough. Not only has the hospital treated this like many other previous scandals, it has not sufficiently reassured the public, especially expecting mothers, that they and their children will be safe should they visit the Hospital.
That a place of birth should become a place of death is not meant to be. That anyone should be allowed to get away with it will not happen.
COLA warns those responsible that we will hold you responsible. If you, Mr. Minister, Dr. Director, Drs. CEO and staff, do not have the combined testicular fortitude to address this issue, and do so in a professional and timely manner, then you are not worth your salt, and you must go. Heads must roll for this. We deserve better than this.