Santiago Gonzalez Abreu

Medical Tourism is in its development stage in Belize. In August 2012, a workshop was executed to create awareness of the industry and to gauge the receptiveness of stakeholders in the healthcare profession. The initiative was started by BELTRAIDE because of the potential for employment in Belize which could possibly increase foreign direct investment. While BELTRAIDE continues its development through the Compete Caribbean Project initiative, Belize and Mexico are looking at partnerships in that area. News five spoke to representatives of tourism sector of Belize and Mexico at an event earlier this week, during which stakeholders from both countries discussed how to develop better partnerships.

Jose Sanchez

“There is an initiative through BELTRAIDE to open up Belize as Medical tourism for Europe. But many Belizeans go to different parts of Mexico, including Merida for medical services. How does that factor into this discussion?”

Santiago Gonzalez Abreu, Marketing Director, Mexican Ministry of Tourism

“Well I think everything that compliments a product should be a new tool that will help to try to bring new people from trying to bring new people from Europe and the United States. Belize and Yucatan can be a great compliment selling to the international market because people travel fifteen to twenty days and they don’t need nature or sea, they need culture, nature and service and focus on many things they are looking for.”

Alyssa Carnegie

Alyssa Carnegie, Director, Marketing & Industry Relations, B.T.B

“It’s huge; huge for Mexico and Belize. Dentistry, there is a lot of people who come to Belize for eye care. That is a growing industry for Belize as well as it is for Mexico in terms of Belizeans going over to Mexico to seek that kind of attention. There is a multitude of areas; strong partnership to the benefit of both countries.”

Jose Sanchez

“How serious is the relationship? Will you speak to the Ministry of Health on that particular avenue?”

Santiago Gonzalez Abreu

“Any new benefit is based on a lot of work, we are working with Ministry of Health in Mexico and in Belize to create international regulations that will give certainty to Belize to work and treat many of the illness that they have.  And also the thing with insurances; that the Belize people that have insurances will work in Mexico and Yucatan.” 

Channel 5