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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II has officially expanded its service to become a 24-hour medical facility. The expansion of services was launched during a short ceremony on February 2nd morning in which Minister of Health Pablo Marin and key technical staff were present for the occasion. In addition to the expansion of opening hours, the PolyClinic is now capable of treating emergency trauma as well as maternal (child delivery) and child care.

Director of Health Services in Belize Dr. Michael Pitts explained that the need for a 24-hour medical facility had been identified for a long time, however the necessary funds as well as the technical part of the system, had to be in place for the services to be sustainable for the long term. "This is a long journey´┐Ż however it will not stop here, because it will only continue to improve. I am already hearing about other plans for the medical service for the island, but sometimes these things take time," said Dr. Pitts.

According to Marin, the Ministry of Health through the Government of Belize (GOB) will be looking at other areas to improve the health sector on the island. Already, there are plans to secure a hospital for the island, an investment of over $20 million, but Marin said that the first step in the process is to secure land. Once that is completed, the Minister of Health said that GOB will then be tasked to identify funds to build the facility as well as to staff it for the long term.

Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II is located on Manta Ray Street in San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye. The clinic can also be reached at 226-2536.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

24 Hour Medical Services Commence at San Pedro Poly Clinic

Clinical services on Ambergris Caye have come along way since 1995 when the Government of Belize started to provice serives with the first clinic on the island. From then the medical services on the island grew to the development of the Poly Clinic to meet the demands of a fast-growing touristic destination. The Poly Clinic went from providing 8 hours service in 2004, to 12 hour service in 2011 with now providing the much-needed 24-hour service that the island need, effective immediately.

A very cordial ceremony was held on Monday, February 2, 2015, in San Pedro to mark the official 24-hour services of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II. After the opening remarks of emcee Angel Nunez and the invocation by Mr. Clive Welsh, The mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero offered the welcome address. This was followed by Dr. Javier Zuniga with a synopsis of the history of medical services in San Pedro leading to the present facility and services.

The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II today counts with 7 nurses and 5 doctors who will all work together in providing the much-needed 24-hour services along with the support of private doctors and the resident medical school. Promised by the Minister of Health to the residents of Ambergris Caye is a hospital which GOB has already commenced planning for.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

San Pedro Polyclinic To Offer 24 Hour Service

For years residents of Ambergris Caye have been voicing concerns and clamouring for a 24 emergency health service and today, that dream became a reality. Many have seen family members pass away and others suffering in need of urgent medical attention while the services of 24-hour medical facility is lacking.

Dr. Javier Zuniga - Primary Health care Coordinator for Central Health Region

"They didn't had it before it was just open twelve hours a day and now they are expanding the services to 24 hours so that is great news for the community." Maria Novelo - Reporter

"I know it was very much needed, does that implies that the staff have been increased?"

Dr. Javier Zuniga - Primary Health care Coordinator for Central Health Region

"That is right, yeah we have new employees and this include doctors, nurses and we will have the support staff so we will have the technicians, workers, care takers which are the people who do the domestic work, we have attendees, security so in total there should be about 22 new staff."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"And does that mean that whenever an incident occurs, let say it is eleven o'clock in the night someone got stab, it won't be necessary to flight out that person right?"

Dr. Javier Zuniga - Primary Health care Coordinator for Central Health Region

"No, that is the only problem we have at the moment because during at night time it is a challenge to transport patients from the island but they do have other means, so we have an emergency boat that we use so that could transfer people but in the event that it really needs to get the patients to KHMH so we will have to sort out with traffic to get the patient over to Belize City."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"And this newly employed staff, are they all Belizeans?"

Dr. Javier Zuniga - Primary Health care Coordinator for Central Health Region

"They are all Belizeans."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"How would you respond to criticism that well election time is coming now so they finally move to get this 24 hours service, something they been clamoring for years?"

Dr. Javier Zuniga - Primary Health care Coordinator for Central Health Region

"The problem is that this was always on the table it was just that funds to do it and the proposal was given at the beginning of this year and they funds the funds and a couple months now they were getting the technical people to work, so the issue was basically human resource, it is very difficult to find doctors and nurses and that was the main problem."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

"Ok but you guys have to sustain a staff?"

Dr. Javier Zuniga - Primary Health care Coordinator for Central Health Region

"Now the Ministry of Health will pick up that initiative for hiring and also paying the staff."

A total of half a million dollars was invested in the salaries of the employees and two hundred thousand in renovations at the clinic said Minister of health, Pablo Marin at a short opening ceremony today. A total of 30 new employees will be stationed at the Dr. Otto Poly Clinic II which currently hosts a staff of only 18 personnel.


Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Island Residents Confused with Poly Clinic's 24-Hour Services

When residents started seeking medical services beyond the 8p.m. closing time of the polyclinic and encountered a locked up front door, frustrations started to rise as they have come to understand that the clinic was now offering 24-hour medical service. Technically, this is not true as the Poly Clinic is ONLY open for 24-hours for Emergency Medical Attention.

Personnel at the Poly Clinic explained to Ambergris Today that the medical facility is not providing 24-hour medical services just yet. The clinic is still operating on a 12-hour daily basis from 8a.m. to 8p.m. Monday to Friday and only 8a.m. to 12p.m. on Saturdays (closed on Sundays). Once the front doors of the clinic close, a reduced medical staff remains to operate the Emergency Unit of the clinic for the remainder of the day. It is only the emergency room that remains open to attend to extreme/serious or life-threatening medical situations considered to be emergencies.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

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