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KHMH terminations cause legal battle

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) is facing a legal battle after two doctors, this week, launched court proceedings against the hospital authority for alleged wrongful termination.

Dr. Alain Gonzalez

Dr. Alain Gonzalez

The KHMH acknowledged that it has served Dr. Alain Gonzales, Dr. Salvador Paguagua and an attendant with termination letters, but said it could not divulge any details on the matter due to the pending court case. Insiders tell the Reporter that the KHMH did not provide a justification for the terminations, which led to the controversy.

Sources also say that KHMH security officers were called to escort Gonzalez off the compound, twice.

Gonzalez, a former United Democratic Party (UDP) city councilor, has filed an appeal with the managing board of the KHMH.
In the wake of the firings, the KHMH ad hoc committee, a body comprised of a group of hospital employees, released a letter to the media, describing the terminations as “distasteful and very troubling.”

Dr. Salvador Paguagua

Dr. Salvador Paguagua

The committee is calling for the removal of Director of Human Resources, Ixchell Murillo, and Director of Medical Services, Dr. Lisa Johnson, because the committee feels the terminations were conducted in contravention to both the Laws of Belize and the KHMH Procedures Manual.
The committee also said that the situation raises concerns for all staff in respect to their job security. The incident adds to a list of concerns presently confronting the institution, including structural damages to the ceiling and support beams, which have caused various sections of the hospital to be cordoned off and a temporary interruption of services. KHMH CEO, Adrian Coye is also scheduled to resign from office in a few weeks.

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