There is a Polyclinic here in Ambergris Caye, which is a publicly run clinic that is owned by the government. It is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Recently, they have increased staffing of clerical and nurses. The Polyclinic is basically a clinic where you can get medical services and dental services that is all free to the public.
If you are a tourist and you broke your leg, you can go to the Polyclinic. They will put a splint on your broken leg and fix you up. If something happens that is more serious, they will ship you to Belize City, which is a 20-minute flight from Ambergris Caye.
There are three public hospitals in Belize City that have selective medicine or specialists. The Carl Houston Memorial, which is a public hospital in Belize City, is one year away from completing a four-year program for open heart surgery in which physicians from the American program have been down here to Belize teaching the doctors here to do open heart surgery.
So in general, if you are on Ambergris Caye, there are adequate medical facilities for an island of 20,000 people and if you have something serious or if you have an emergency, they will stabilize you and take you to Belize City. There are general practitioners in Ambergris Caye but the specialists are in Belize City.
There are two or three other doctors who practice here on Ambergris Caye. One of them, Doctor Danny is a gynecologist and he has a little hospital of perhaps five or six beds that he has behind his house that he runs as a clinic. We also have Doctor Giovanni Guerrero, who is my physician. He has a blood lab where he could do most of the testing needed and a three or four-room facility where he can deal with more than one person at a time.
I am 63 years old, 230 pounds, with high blood pressure, so living here in Ambergris Caye, yes, I am concerned about healthcare issues, but it is a lifestyle risk. I can live anywhere and I would still be concerned about the same health issues.
(Dr. Otto Rodriguez offers 24 hour service at the Polyclinic in Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)