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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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The First Step To Establishing Medical Tourism In Belize

Belize has once again identified another gateway to attracting more visitors, and investors to our country, which is, through the emergence of Medical Tourism.

As a result of this, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), will be having the first ever workshop on Medical Tourism in Belize; with the purpose of developing a country profile. This workshop will be held on August 3, 2012, from 8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m., at the George Price Center, in the City of Belmopan.

Mr. Massimo Manzi, the IADB Consultant, and the Executive Director of the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED) will be the moderator at this workshop. Topics to be discussed include, the global industry of medical tourism; key elements for a successful country strategy; and Belize's way to medical tourism.

If you should be interested to be a part of such initiative, please feel free to contact Ms. Ruby Pascascio, Projects Officer at [email protected], or Ms. Florence Cayetano, Public Relations Officer, at [email protected] for further information.

Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE)
14 Orchid Garden St.,
City of Belmopan, Cayo District, Belize
Tel: 501-822-3737
Fax: 501-822-0595
Email: [email protected]
[email protected]

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
A good idea in theory, but a difficult concept to execute, given the competition from other medical centers in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and elsewhere in the region. While those countries are Spanish-speaking, many of the physicians and staff speak English, and prices are as low or lower as in Belize. Plus, there's the issue of the perception of Belize City.

I think to make it work at all besides the usual claims of competence and low price you'd really have to have a unique selling proposition, such as "our doctors and staff are the friendliest in the world" and you'd have to target health conditions that Belize is able to treat or deal with, such as long-term health care (facilities could be set up outside high crime areas) for the aged and perhaps dental care.

Given the high cost of long-term assisted-living and institutional health care in the U.S. after Medicare runs out (as much as US$100,000 a year or more, a cost that quickly drains savings), there's an opportunity to outsource such care to Belize and for patients to receive good care at modest cost in a nice environment.

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,267
Long-term care and housing for elderly would definitely be a boon to us all.
Imagine if the retirees who come here could stay - really stay, knowing they have found a real home, not just a playground whilst they are fully mobile.

Further, imagine the jobs this would create. And I do think Belize could tout having the friendliest caregivers in the world - being caring and patient and kind to the elderly is ingrained in the culture.

Probably such an initiative would need to be made in partnership with BMA or HP so that quality healthcare could be provided on a regular basis.

There are a few lovely areas not so far from BC allowing access to clinics when necessary - Lake Gardens comes to mind.

Anybody reading this who has a background in elder-care please make serious consideration of this idea. The time is right, and the project is righteous.

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,436
I agree with Diane on elder care. I also agree with Lan that right now with Mexicao, Cuba, Brazil and even Guatamala being a bit more advanced and less expensive for most medical needs. Belize would not be a destination. I am very experienced in home health, was trained to care for my late husband so he could come home, I took care of him for 7 years, he was a quad, he could not speak, or eat, fed thru stmach tube, breathed thru trech. about 2 yrs into that my mom came to live with me, she had alzhiemers. I also worked full time and had two young children, I did have home care as well. Our plan has always been to live here as long as we can and then sell everything and go back to the States when we were to old to ride bikes. We are in our sixties and my thoughts are changing on this. I often joke and say mabe we should stay, I could hire someone to help care for my husband alot cheaper here. As well as this is where I would rather be. I think the country should take an active look at home health care training. Then again when nurses at KHM are not even trained on how to transfer a person, (thats another story) I think alot of long timers here plan to leave at some point in old age, I think alot would like to stay if a plan was available, The nursing homes here are very sad so it would truly have to be home health care. That would be persons trained more than the education given to basic nurses get so its a dream but a good one.

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
We moved to Belize with my mom in 2002 and soon after she began the slow descent of Alzheimer's. She had always said she wanted to stay with the family and never be put away in an "old folks home" her words. Belize allowed us to do just that. When she got so bad we could not handle her ourselves we hired a wonderful Belizean lady to be her full time live in caretaker. We could have never afforded to do that in the US. Doctors in PG made house calls on her and treated her with such respect and love. She dies peacefully in our home 6 years later surrounded by her family that she loved.

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,563
I have avocated for an assisted living program here. Since the island has been so overbuilt we have empty resorts. Anyone of these could easily be converted into assisted living quarters. All we need s=is a medical team to run it.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Thinking ahead a few years, I can imagine how great it would be as an old codger to wake up every morning and see the barrier reef and feel the sea breezes and eating mangos and bananas for breakfast ... as opposed to being in some smelly nursing home in the USA.

I just hope that if someone tries it on Ambergris Caye that they won't take the usual Belize route of trying to make up for volume by charging high prices. That's how the hotel industry in Belize got into the situation it's in now, overbuilt and with some of the lowest average occupancy rates in the Americas.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Interestingly enough, I know of more than a few people who have aging relatives in the States and Canada who hired Belizeans to fly north to tend to their family members for long term care. Banana Bank tried to get one of these off the ground a few yrs ago.

Belize based travel specialist
[email protected]
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
I had forgotten about Banana Bank's effort. It's tough to get any new business idea started.

I remember back sometime in the mid-1990s talking to the then-owners of a leading resort south of San Pedro about starting a retirement/assisted care facility on the island. It never came to anything.

Last edited by Lan Sluder/Belize First; 08/03/12 05:14 PM.
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
So Lan, with your extensive expertise..why don't you show us all how to do it?

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