And from the inside to the outside, where the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital parking lot will see a facelift. Costing $256,000, it will also see a re-organization of parking for all who use it. Dr. Gary Longsworth gives details.
“As you rightly point out, there are many uses of the parking lot. The priority has to be for our staff and patients. In fact, when the lot was built, the first section near to the building was designated for employees. Then, the other area was for patients. But as you say, everybody wants to use it, and there it’s just not enough space. So, we have to rationalize the use of it. the priority for the general area has to be our visitors and our patients. So, we are going to be monitoring and controlling access in and out of that area from here on, once we have renovated it”.
Reporter: “Would you specify ‘monitoring and controlling access will be?”
“Patients and visitors will have access obviously, but people from outside who want to have access will have to pay a small fee to get access”.
The parking lot is used by a taxi association, two schools, a bank, the Social Security Board, the Lions Club and BCVI. Parking will be free for visitors and patients but everyone else must start paying up. As for the taxi operators, Director of Finance for the Hospital, Carlos Perrera, says they will be relocated to the east side of the main building with adequate spaces.
“At this point in time it’s only approximately four or five taxi spots that is allocated in the parking lot. So, based on the length in front of the hospital would be more than sufficient to allocate them along the sign within the front of the hospital. Then, we have an excellent relationship with the taxis, and we will continue to do so to work with them”.
But where is the hospital finding the money for these projects, which together cost over $600,000? They have approached the Belize Bank as a financial partner, Perrera explains.
Dr. Carlos Perrera: “We looked at the Belize bank and we also looked at the Social Security. We are looking if Social Security does end up being feasible and possible. Then basically we will do clearing our borrowing from Belize bank with a loan from the Social Security, (but that is still in process) but due to the urgency of these projects and these projects having sit for the last two years, we decided to go ahead with and bridge financing through the Belize Bank”.
Reporter: “Why did you choose Belize Bank as a commercial bank as opposed to Scotia bank or Atlantic Bank or First Caribbean?”
Dr. Carlos Perrera: “The KHMH has a good relationship with the Belize Bank. They have extended and worked with us over the last four to five years, and they worked with us tremendously in giving us the best rate in regards to the financing for the projects”.
This project is also slated to begin early next year and will be performed by Lindsay Jeffery’s firm, CEV Construction.