A Travel Guide to the Belize Health Care System
One of the most important factors to consider when visiting or moving to another country is the quality and nature of the health care available at your destination. Belize is a small country with a strong commitment to developing and improving infrastructure, including health care.
If you are coming to Belize, here is what you need to know about health care in the country:
Public Health Care in Belize
Much like the rest of the world, the government of Belize provides free and low-cost health care to everyone. The government of Belize operates a nationwide network of clinics and hospitals. Surgeries and more in-depth procedures can be very affordable at government hospitals, but the overall service may be less than what you’re used to. That being said, the Karl Heusner Hospital in Belize City has a full complement of services and specialists.
Public health care is perfectly suitable for treating minor ailments and illnesses. The price for services ranges from free to very affordable, even for non-citizens. Waiting lines are rare, and in-patient hospital stays begin at an average of $15 a day. Pharmacies (drug stores) are found in all major towns and cities that can supply prescription medications, often at a far better price than in the United States.
The down side to using public health care in Belize include: sharing rooms, providing your own toiletries, and the lack of options for more advanced surgical interventions and treatment procedures.
Private Health Care in Belize
There are a number of privately-operated clinics and hospitals throughout the country that serve as a viable alternative to the public facilities. Belize Medical Associates, a private hospital in Belize City, offers advanced health care on par with anything found in more advanced countries. Another popular private option is the network of clinics run by Belize Healthcare Partners.
For long-term treatment of chronic issues or for very advanced surgical intervention, many visitors choose to fly to the United States for treatment. International evacuation coverage can be added to most health insurance policies, allowing for emergency transportation to North America.
It is important to note that foreign embassies in Belize cannot recommend individual physicians or health care treatment facilities. Foreign embassies can, however, arrange for emergency medical treatment in your home country in special cases.
Mexico is a Health Care Option for Belizeans
Belizeans also have easy access to world class health care facilities located across the border in the Mexican cities of Cancun, Chetumal, Merida, and Playa del Carmen.