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Thread: Is Medical Tourism On The Menu For Belize?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Belize
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    38,730

    Is Medical Tourism On The Menu For Belize?

    CH 7:

    Is Medical Tourism On The Menu For Belize?


    Most of us might not know what Medical Tourism per se - but many of us have participated in it, even if we did so unknowingly. Have you ever been to Merida or Guatemala City for medical treatment - stayed a few days, got a hotel, ate in a few restaurants..?
    Well, that's medical tourism - and now BELTRAIDE has retained a consultant to discuss the prospects of making Belize into a medical tourism Mecca.

    They are doing it in Costa Rica - and the consultation held a meeting with stakeholders today at the George Price Center in Belmopan to discuss a country strategy for Belize.

    We found out more:..

    Jules Vasquez
    "What is medical tourism?"

    Nicholas Ruiz, Executive Director - BELTRAIDE
    "It's simply foreigners coming to another country. In this case Belize to get medical treatment and there is a support system for them. It's been happening for many years - North Americas went to Europe and now they are coming to Central America, they are going to Thailand; they are going to India, Singapore that have advantages. Some of them being more affordable, they have more access to it and so on and so forth."

    "Belize being close to the US being English speaking having some pricing advantages we feel that we can offer those services to primarily Americans and Canadians - that's the market we are looking at and we are meeting with private as well as public stakeholders to try to gather ideas and consensus as to where we want to go with medical tourism. We all know that it's going on. We all know that it has great potential but we want to make sure that we have a country approach to this."

    Doctor #1
    "Medical and dental association - we have a lot of doctors and dentists with a lot of expertise on the ground. We can't sell out to foreign investors whether people have a lot of money or find medical expertise coming in and controlling medical tourism. We as Belizeans have to have a big stake in it."

    Jules Vasquez
    "We know that protectionism no longer can exist. The world trade organization throngs upon it. The fact is that he who has the money builds the hospital and staff the hospital. Isn't that how it works?"

    Doctor #1
    "Usually yes, but we have to be careful. We are a very small country and we have to be careful otherwise we are going to be over run and become second class citizens in our own little country."

    Jules Vasquez
    "But the fact is that you all can't afford to build a hospital. To build a hospital you need a foreign investor but want him to build the temple yet you be the priest. How can that be?"

    Doctor #1
    "No, not really. In fact we have a lot of local investors. We might have physicians and even local businessmen who might have the finances. We even look at a model whereby in Belize with local investors we can build a facility."

    Doctor #2
    "We do see the possibility to have a kind of foreign local partnership where the foreign practitioner comes, they inject money in the economy but through a small change we are thinking about the licensing process to commit them with their assistance or being able to perform surgeries with the help of local practitioners."

    Nicholas Ruiz, Executive Director - BELTRAIDE
    "The overriding idea is that we want Belizeans to participate in this industry. As I mentioned to you it's going to be stage by stage approach where we need to get to that point where our medical practitioners or those who will participate in the medical tourism industry - Belizeans will have what it takes - financing or the technical know-how so that they can participate."

    Doctor #2
    "The rules will be set in the country and if some private and foreign investment is needed we will ask for them. The strategy is based on the capacity of Belize of developing its model."

    Jules Vasquez
    "Isn't it a fact that we have a limited number of specialists and that we cannot afford to spread our specialist? It will be to the detriment of our population."

    Doctor #1
    "We have about 200-250 Belizeans that are studying medicine. A small of those are specializing. We will have enough of a Belizean work force so we won't have to spread ourselves thin in the next 5-10 years. So we have the local talent that is preparing itself to be able to fill that place."

    Jules Vasquez
    "It sounds like the doctor simply want a license amass wealth preferentially because you all stand to make more off medical tourism that you do off regular folks like me."

    Doctor #1
    "This is something call ethics. We have to have ethics in going about this. I talk about the Robin Hood perspective. Those who can afford to pay a lot of money they can pay whether out of pocket or through an insurance policy. Those who are more a working middle class will pay something moderate and those people who are poor obviously we have to have a strong public health system so that we can offer them the proper care. It's across the board, nobody because of a lack of finance should be omitted from having the proper healthcare."

    By October 14th, the consultant is tasked to come up with a framework proposal.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    119
    That's something different when it comes to working for all this tours from boston would be very useful because they have everything which needs to be there in it generally and that is the point which is appreciable to me.

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