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Christian Burn of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
On the island of Ambergris Caye, we have a free clinic called the polyclinic, which is for everybody. The medical services offered there are basic services. Pregnant women are encouraged to leave the island because the polyclinic cannot manage complications of any kind. The polyclinic is good for triage and primary care but medical cases involving anything substantial are sent to the mainland, where there are two private hospitals and one public hospital. The public hospital in Belize City is not free; you need to pay as you go, and the care is adequate.
 
The two private hospitals in Belize City are more like clinics but clinics with a variety of different kinds of specialist doctors. You pay as you go but they take credit cards, and the care there is quite good.
 
If you are on the islands in Belize, you can go to the polyclinics, which are for free, or you can go see a private doctor. There are lots of private doctors here on the island who are mostly trained from Cuba. There is one new American doctor, too. You pay for the visit and you pay for the prescriptions that they would give you since they do not have a pharmacy in there office. They provide decent care to people in the islands. I take in people with big cuts all the time. I took a man right to the private doctors who had come off a snorkel trip months ago who was having a heart attack. They hooked him up, assessed him, and when they realized that he was having a massive coronary, we took him to Belize City, from where they took him back to the States in time.
 
If you have a heart attack and you are on Ambergris Caye, let’s hope that you are close to someone who knows CPR, and if this is the first time, certainly EMS is activated and you can call 911 here. They recently had donated a bunch of ambulances. These ambulances are not in the form that you would know in North America, but more like a tuk tuk, which is a three-wheeled emergency vehicle in which they rush people to the nearest doctor who will help. If you would have a heart attack here and you have a condition, hopefully you have nitro with you, but if you don’t have a condition as it is the first time, let’s hope at the very least that you can get to somebody who knows what they’re doing. We don’t have an automated external defibrillator at our facility but the polyclinic does and some of the other hotels do. We are constantly looking at getting an AED but at this time, we haven’t. Belize is really not the kind of place that you’d want to come when you’re on the verge of being really ill. If you have serious health concerns and you are kind of on the edge, Belize is too far out for you. You should not be this far from help. You need to be a lot more self-sufficient than you think.
 
If you have a broken leg, we can take you to the Cuban or to the American doctor. They will be able to do the basics and they will be able to hook you up, but if there is any subsequent surgery or something big had to happen you have to get airlifted to Belize City, either to the public hospital or to the private hospital. They will not be able to perform surgery here in the island. It is just triage.
 
If you need to be airlifted and if you really need to get to the hospital, somebody will take you for a couple thousand dollars.
 
Medical care in Belize is improving all the time. The emphasis is improving the infrastructure for the medical care so we are always encouraged. The British military used to have a free service to bring people on a plane off the Island on a little plane they call the “Wings of Hope.” However, with the austerity of the budget going on in Europe, they had to downsize that, so that is why you now pay out of your pocket to get to the mainland and use an emergency flight. Up until two years ago, it used to be completely free. If the doctor called the Wings of Hope and said, “We need to evacuate this person,” the military would just move you off the island for free. 
Ima Faque – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Belize has terrible healthcare. For example there is no chemotherapy in the entire nation, there is one poorly functioning MRI and I donate basic tools like forcepts and hemostats to our clinics because they can't get them. There is an Ado bus to Merida Mexico we call the hospital bus because 80% of the passengers are going to a Mexican hospital. If you look at Mexico, Panama even Cuba the level of healthcare makes Belize look like the stone age. 
 
Wendy Miller of RE/MAX Property Center South – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Medical team from Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in Taiwan  visiting the KHMH,  Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and providing free clinics – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMedical facilities in Belize are good for basic primary care: physicals, common flu, and other common communicable diseases such as chicken pox, malaria, dengue etc., and some non-communicable diseases such as kidney and gall bladder stones and diabetes treatment. Outside of this, where the aliment requires specialist care, then one would often need to seek medical attention outside of the county.

Cancer treatment for instance is rarely possible in Belize. While some may be able to do chemo therapy here, other forms of treatment such as radiotherapy is not possible. Dialysis for kidney failure is in high demand and short supply with most machines in the general hospital (KHMH) already oversubscribed.

In terms of closeness and availability, there is at least one main hospital in each district, KHMH in Belize City, Western Regional Hospital in Cayo, and Southern Regional in the south and one in Corozal, and there is a full complete set of clinics all over the country. However, and this is important, most major treatments, including emergency surgery and proper neonatal and other intensive care can only be administered at KHMH in Belize City. The facilities elsewhere are very limited.

There also a handful of very excellent, though costly, private facilities that are recommended for better customer care and service if one can afford it. Medical Associates in Belize City being one of the premier's private institution, as well as Belize Health Care Partners. La Luma Luz in Cayo also boasts about their specialist and specialist care.

(Medical team from Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in Taiwan  visiting the KHMH,  Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and providing free clinics, pictured.)

 
Irma Quiroz-Yuque of Belize Vacation Homes – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Corozal, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are healthcare centers in every area in Belize.  There are clinics in every village. They are very affordable, if you are a permanent resident of Belize.
 
Once you’ve been here for a while, most expats become permanent residents, at which point, we receive free healthcare.  You would go to the public healthcare clinic here if there were an emergency. You don’t pay like you would in the States, for example, when you have to pay a deductible; for example, of US $50.  You don’t have that here.
 
There are some clinics that do charge but basically it’s just between BZ $5 to $10 (US $2.50 to $5) for a visit. Medicines are mostly free. Some do cost but, it’s also very minimal.
 
You can find every medicine that you need.  I have friends who have heart issues and sometimes they have to get very expensive heart medications, but they’re able to find that here in Belize. Being here in Corozal, we’re closer to Mexico so a lot of people drive across the border and get their prescriptions filled there and then come back.  The cost is very low, compared to the States. 
 
I would rate the quality of the healthcare as very similar to the States. They’re growing. Belize has only been a country for 34 years so in the 34 years that they’ve been around their hospitals are growing and expanding.  They’re learning more.
 
Just recently in Corozal, we got a new operating room valued at over a million dollars. The people, the staff, and the doctors are excellent. Many times they’re trained in Cuba and then they come here and practice and they’re all very well qualified.
 
In Belize City you’ll find the better hospitals and you can also have private hospital access there. Of course you’re going to pay a little bit more for private care, but about a third of the amount you would pay in the United States.
 
I have diabetes and so I have to go to the doctor every often and I have to get medicine monthly.  I have received excellent care in the 4 years that we’ve been living in Belize.  
 
(Corozal, Belize bordering Chetumal City, Mexico, pictured.)
Mark Leonard of Paradise Found Belize Real Estate and Development – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Chetumal, Mexico, arial view – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYes, there are good healthcare facilities in Belize. Belize Medical Associates is a private center in Belize City that I know. For people living on the Cayes, they are still working on getting centers up and running. Belize does not fly airplanes at night so if you are on the cayes or off the beaten track, you could be in serious trouble if you have a medical emergency at night. 
 
The advantage of living in Corozal is medical care. The bottom line if something major comes up, such as a  heart attack, we are going to get you over to Chetumal, Mexico (right across the border with Corozal), where there are fine hospitals with doctors and equipment up to current standards. Many were trained in Cuba and The United States. The care there is similar to what you would receive at Tampa General Hospital. The availability of this healthcare is a major advantage to living in Corozal. This is one of the major reasons I chose working in the Corozal Area. 
 
The cost of medical care in Chetumal is pretty reasonable. We pay out of pocket. However, the International Policy I am evaluating is accepted in Mexico. 
 
An appointment, an ultrasound, and the minor surgical procedure is maybe around US $250. If you have that same procedure done in the US, it would probably be equivalent to the cost of a used vehicle! 
 
(Arial view of Chetumal, Mexico, just over the boarder with Corozol, Belize, pictured.) 
Nikki Muschamp of Boris Mannsfeld & Associates – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
In every district of Belize there is a public hospital with free general healthcare, except  with some minor charges for delivery, tests and operations. Most villages also have a polyclinic that is attached to district hospital. Then they are the private sector clinics that are spread across the country in rural and urban developments. They are a few well-established health care centers that are centralized in Belize City, which is a 45 minutes on plane and 3 hours driving from Placencia.

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