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Understanding Health Care in Ambergris Caye Belize

Posted by Valeria Espinoza on Jan 17, 2013 3:30:06 PM
Valeria Espinoza

Visiting or even moving to the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye is becoming more and more popular as travelers from around the world realize how much this incredible destination has to offer. Although the island has stunning beaches, great dining opportunities, a friendly population and affordable accommodations, many potential residents are concerned about the issue of health services and medical care. But there is nothing to be concerned about. Although there is not major hospital on the island, there are many medical professionals, doctors and treatment facilities. Read on to get a better idea of healthcare in Belize, particularly on Ambergris Caye.

Pharmacies on the Island

There are two different pharmacies on the island, both of which are stocked with all the typical medicines that a person might need. In fact, many of the generic medications are far more affordable on the island than in North America. However, it is generally advised that those with serious medical conditions bring their prescription medications with them to the island. Of course, pharmacies can always have medications shipped in from the mainland of Belize if necessary as well.

Doctors and Clinics

If you suffer a minor injury or ailment while on the island, it is likely that you will be treated by one of the many doctors in the area who maintain private practices. Since the cost of living is so low, and there is no expensive health care insurance system making a visit to the doctor as little as $20 at a time. Although many of the doctors are trained specialists, the most common injuries are minor accidents and need basic treatment. There is a large Polyclinic in San Pedro that is always open and has a doctor on call at all times. The size of the island means that you can get treatment within minutes, typically in less time that it would take you to be seen by a nurse in a large North American hospital.

Diving Emergencies

Since the island is a major scuba diving destination, there are occasionally some diving emergencies that come about because divers ascend too quickly from deep depths. Thankfully, there is a hyperbaric chamber right in San Pedro should it be necessary for visitors or residents.

Emergency Medical Transport

In the event that individuals on the island need medical assistance or treatment that can't be provided in San Pedro, they can easily get to the mainland of Belize. In Belize City there is a large modern hospital, and there is always the option of being transported to an American hospital less than two hours away. A medical transport plane called the Wings of Life is always ready to take patients off the island for further treatment in emergencies.

Health Insurance

Although the healthcare in Belize is affordable and modern, many residents feel more comfortable having their own health insurance policies. Many North American or European policies are applicable while in a foreign destination like Belize, meaning that all your treatment or medical costs would be covered under your health insurance policy like normal. However, it is important to keep in mind that most residents on the island are more than happy with the very inexpensive and efficient medical system in Belize.

Before moving to a new destination, it is wise to better understand the existing healthcare system in the region. When it comes to Ambergris Caye, the entire healthcare and medical system is efficient, affordable and modern.

Topics: Healthcare in Belize

Valeria Espinoza

Written by Valeria Espinoza