Dr Peter Allen reports on the Central Medical Laboratory renovations

The Ministry of Health is conducting extensive renovations of key services, and last Friday contracted with Gutierrez & Associates Architects for the renovation of the first floor of the Central Medical Laboratory.  Dr. Peter Allen, CEO who signed on behalf of the Ministry, tells us more.

Dr Peter Allen – CEO Ministry of Health:

vlcsnap-2013-07-25-13h12m57s35The Minister was able to access three hundred thousand dollars in financing, which we had been looking for for some time, in order to complete the renovations on the middle floor of the Central Medical Laboratory, which includes several functions including, microbiology, including cytology and hopefully including the birolow testing machine that we’ve been hoping to get into action for some time.  We’d actually already gone through he process of advertisement and receiving of bids based on the bill of quantities.  The contract was signed last week, and work should be starting almost immediately. 

The total work is expected to cost over $295,000, all paid for by the Government of Belize. According to Dr. Allen the Lab was hit by fire some time ago.

Dr Peter Allen – CEO Ministry of Health:

Obviously you’ll understand that laboratory functions are not limited to the building, but they have to have the staff.  We only have one pathologist, Dr Sanchez. Four years ago, having recognized this weakness, we sent people to train in histopathology studies through scholarships which the Government of Cuba was kind enough to provide.  The first recipient of those scholarships returns from those studies later this year, with two more expected to return next year.  That is work of the last four years in predicting the Human Resource needs for that function, and of course it becomes even more urgent now with the current situations and challenges which face us.

Some years ago, a fire that destroyed the top and middle floor of the building; Allen says renovations to these subdivisions are also being conducted.

Dr Peter Allen – CEO Ministry of Health:

In terms of repair, some attempts had been made in the past, but the building I gather is rather old, and so the renovations will complicate it by the need to reinforce what is left of the  structure, and then to build back on top of that structure, including a cement roof, because we wanted the roof to be resistant to hurricanes and disasters in the future.  Complications aside, it is on  the go now, and we hope tom have it completed very soon.  The timeframe for completion of the middle floor, by the contractor, is six months from beginning.  So we hope by very early next year we’ll be opening the top floor of the CML.

The project is expected to be completed early next year.

About the Author