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Christian Burn of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The need for medical care for the retired people is also always a massive concern for people who want to retire to a foreign place. There is healthcare here on Ambergris Caye and it is generally a little bit less than what they are used to, but it is still substantial. The doctors here are actually better than you would think.
 
Access to further care and aftercare is absolutely here, too. It is doable. It is workable. They are constantly trying to look at different things such as an ambulance service. It is the next big hot topic on Ambergris Caye. They are also looking into EMS and getting more training for frontline staff for basic life support and CPR. They are very concerned about this in the community and taking steps to address it.
Matthew Hoy of Pelican Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Water taxi out of Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWithin the last six months, we have a Polyclinic here in on the island of Ambergris Caye that has been operating 24 hours a day. Previously, they closed at around 7 PM or 8 PM so if there was a medical emergency over the evening, people used to have to travel either to Belize City or potentially, even as far away as Mexico. Now, we have one 24-hour clinic and we have another 24-hour clinic on the way and I have heard rumblings in the hospital that it is going to be expanded as well. Even in the past year, medical capabilities here in Ambergris Caye have grown quite a bit. 
 
The Polyclinic here in Ambergris Caye can handle any immediate trauma at a certain level as long as it is not life threatening or requires surgery. Broken bones can be taken care of here really well. Any other situations that need long palliative care, I would recommend you going to Mexico, or the US or Canada. The hospitals here in Belize are equipped but I don’t think that they are equipped well enough so that if you were suffering from something like cancer, you would probably go somewhere else. 
 
There are a couple of major hospitals in Belize City area that can help on more major situations such as if you had a stroke or a heart attack. You can also get transported to Chetumal in Mexico, which is only an hour and a half ferry ride away. Typically if you are going to take a boat to either Belize City or to Chetumal in Mexico, I would suggest that you go to Mexico. The Polyclinic here in Ambergris Caye is equipped enough to make you stable if you had a serious condition but for long term care, I would suggest going to one of the better hospitals close by.  
 
(Water taxi out of Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
Bob Hamilton of Century 21 Coral Beach Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dr. otto Rodriquez Polyclinic, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere 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.)
Kate Corrigan  of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Even though Ambergris Caye is 25 miles long and 1 mile wide at its widest point, most residents live in the town area of San Pedro, which is about an 8-mile radius. Most of the doctors and medical care are in that town and there are lots of them. There are lots of pharmacies and lots of doctors and you just have to choose one that you like. They are all within walking distance from where you live.
 
If you choose to live remotely at the end of the island, then you have to make a 4 or 5 mile drive to get to San Pedro. For more serious medical problems, we have flights through Tropic Air that leave for Belize City and there are hospitals and doctors over there that will tend to you.
 
My friend had a serious collapse one day in Ambergris Caye. She had to be flown to Belize City, which got her there in ten minutes. Hospital personnel came and met her with two nurses and escorted her to the plane. She had a brain scan and was speaking with a specialist within an hour and a half. They gave her prescriptions and got her back on her feet and sent her back to Ambergris Caye. The entire thing cost her only $500 Belizean.
 
You might not be immediate care and I do not think we have care for the elderly, but for general ailments, you can deal with them quite well here in Belize.
 
There are two airlines that operate here in Ambergris Caye: Tropic Air and Maya Air. Both run flights from here to the mainland. We have a runway with lights, and even though the planes only normally run during daylight, because we have a functional runway with lights, they can fly people out of the island in an emergency whenever needed. However, that has yet to happen because there are enough doctors and facilities in Ambergris Caye to treat people.
 
We have the Polyclinic here on Ambergris Caye, which is a free clinic. They also have 24-hour on call doctors who can come and attend to you in case of an emergency as well. The Polyclinic is a public facility, but for Ambergris Caye they also have a 24-hour emergency hotline and call system should you need them any time of the day. The nurse or doctor will come out to you in the vehicles that we just bought for them and check you. If you need to go to the Polyclinic, it is open, so you can be treated until, if needed, that same transportation can take you to the airport and put you on a ten-minute flight to the mainland for further care.
 
The care given here in Ambergris Caye is quick and efficient. The Polyclinic is free, and in exchange for medical care, you are only asked to make a donation. You have to sit and wait, unless you have an emergency medical condition.
 
If you go to a private doctor, you have to pay for the consultation. The consultation usually costs about $50 Belizean, or US $25. You also have to pay for the medication. 

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