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Placencia Village to get polyclinic

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Posted: Friday, January 21, 2022. 5:02 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Placencia Village Council as well as industry stakeholders to begin work on an estimated $2.5 million polyclinic health facility in Placencia village, Stann Creek District.

The leading tourism destination had, pre-COVID, welcomed nearly 67 thousand overnight visitors and almost 375 thousand cruise ship passengers via Harvest Caye, prompting a demand for direct access to health services as Placencia is roughly equidistant from the nearest such facilities in Dangriga and Independence respectively. 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 to fight the current pandemic.

Funding is being provided by the Tourism Development Fund for Placencia and the project is valued at an estimated $2.486 million, due to be completed by the end of 2022.

These funds resulted from mutual agreements and collaboration between the Government of Belize, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) and Belize Tourism Board, with the aim to develop sustainable management of tourism sites, community, sanitation, health and security infrastructure.

The Board has already secured with local stakeholders and the Heineman-Robicsek Medical Outreach group medical supplies and equipment (including a first ambulance) valued at $459,001.44, representing 59 percent of needed equipment.

“The Placencia Polyclinic will not only provide essential health services to Placencia residents during this critical juncture for the country, but also continue to contribute to the development of Placencia as a healthy, safe and visitor friendly destination,” said Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, during the groundbreaking ceremony. He was joined by Health Minister Kevin Bernard, Transportation Minister and area representative Rodwell Ferguson, and representatives of the Placencia Village Council.

The 5,650 square-foot Polyclinic will include consultation rooms, reception and registration areas, waiting rooms, asthma bay, pharmacy, 2 triage rooms, laboratory, shock/trauma rooms and more, in order to be able to provide the highest level of service to patients.

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