Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2020. 2:57 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a Polyclinic for Placencia Village has been signed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the Ministry of Health (MOH), and the Placencia Village Council (PVC). The 5,650 sq feet Polyclinic will include 4 consultation rooms, reception and registration areas, 2 waiting rooms, an asthma bay, pharmacy, 2 triage rooms, a laboratory, shock/trauma rooms, and more, in order to be able to provide the highest level of service to patients.
As outlined in the MOU, the Placencia Village Council will provide the land for the construction of the facility; the MOH will provide the technical requirements, staff, and management of the polyclinic; and the BTB will develop the terms of reference for the tendering procedure and manage the disbursement of funds with guidance from MOH. The project is estimated to cost $1.6 million dollars and will be financed by the Tourism Development Funds established for the destination.
These funds resulted from mutual agreements and collaboration between the Government of Belize, Norweigan Cruise Lines (NCL) and BTB with the aim to develop sustainable management of tourism sites, community, sanitation, health, and security infrastructure. Placencia, located on the southern coast of Belize, is one of Belize’s leading tourism destinations. Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, Placencia experienced rapid tourism growth, welcoming 66,738 overnight visitors and 374,894 cruise passengers via Harvest Caye in 2019. These visitor arrivals had a direct impact on the demand for health services, thereby influencing guests’ experience.
As a result, BTB launched an initiative to construct an appropriate medical facility for both residents and visitors; the facility is also a means of fortifying the sound development of tourism in the area, particularly with the ‘new norm’ of increased focus on high standards of health and safety.
“The Placencia Village Council supports this development which will hugely benefit our villagers, especially in health,” said Chairlady, Ms Ilsa Villanueva. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr has also expressed his support of this project, stating, “The Placencia Polyclinic offers us the best of options because on one hand it will provide essential health services to Placencia residents during this critical juncture for the country, and on the other, it will contribute to the development of Placencia as a healthy, safe and visitor-friendly destination.”
Director of Tourism, Mrs Karen Bevans, signed on behalf of the BTB while Chief Executive Officer, Dr. George Gough and Chairlady Ilsa Villanueva signed on behalf of MOH and the PVC respectively.
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