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Government of Belize Removes Fees in Public Hospitals, Promoting Universal Healthcare Access
October 31, 2023
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October 31, 2023

Universal healthcare access – no more fees to visit hospitals

Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2023. 5:30 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Government of Belize has announced it will no longer charge fees within public hospitals, guaranteeing universal access by removing financial barriers to health-care, especially for low-income families.

Uncollected fees and administrative costs rose more than 50 percent over the last three years, straining this system.

It was not made clear whether services will be moved to the National Health Insurance (NHI), which has been rolled out to most but not all districts, or what will be done about past bills.

The public hospitals affected include the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town, the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga and the hospitals in Corozal, Punta Gorda and San Ignacio which also serves Santa Elena.

However, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City, the largest and most-trafficked of all hospitals in Belize, is not included as it is not directly controlled by Government but by a statutory body. Its needs, the Government statement says, will be evaluated separately.

No timeline has been set for the implementation.

 

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