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Belize making moves to become leading medical tourism destination in Latin America through benchmark South Korean medical technologies

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Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2022. 11:21 am CST.

Photo Credit: MED

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize is making moves to modernize its hospital and health care services with the objective of becoming a leading medical tourism destination with benchmark South Korean medical technologies, said the Ministry of Economic Development.

This week, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) is conducting an initial review to start feasibility studies for the modernization of five hospitals countrywide, said the Ministry of Economic Development. The review is being done by a technical team of consultants from Consultora Multiprofesional Sociedad Anónima contracted by the CABEI.

The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) said CABEI approved US$1,049,750.00 in technical cooperation grant funding to finance initial reviews and feasibility studies of Belize’s hospital infrastructure and equipment in Orange Walk Town, Belmopan, San Ignacio-Santa Elena, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda.

“The funds stem from both CABEI’s own resources and the Republic of Korea within the framework of the Korea-CABEI Single Donor Trust Fund (KTF),” said MED.

“These efforts will pave the way for Belize to become a leading medical tourism destination in Latin America through benchmarking South Korean medical knowledge, technologies, and policy approach,” said MED.

“This involves conducting studies for the construction, adaptation and/or refurbishment of facilities, deployment of national digital health information systems, and strengthening of hospital management and administration capacities,” said MED.

“The cooperation will assist the Ministry of Health and Wellness in modernizing healthcare infrastructure and reinforcing the institutional, technical, and operational capacities of hospital administrators and physicians.”

On Monday, MED CEO Dr. Osmond Martinez and Ministry of Health and Wellness CEO Dr. Julio Sabido welcomed the technical team of consultants, which includes Belizean professionals as well, and offered the Government’s support while they conduct their work.

It is expected that the hospitals in Belmopan, Orange Walk Town, San Ignacio-Santa Elena, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda will either be rehabilitated or newly built.

“We expect that once we have feasibility studies then South Korea will help with the actual construction of the hospitals,” said Carlos Pol of the Ministry of Economic Development.

“The feasibility studies will give us options of what to do with those five hospitals but more than likely there will be new construction for all of them. That’s the idea.”

The understanding is that the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan will become the leading hospital in this regard.

 

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