Now, healthcare options in this country are improving, and the government has made this a priority. Specifically, the government has set medical tourism as an agenda, recognizing this as an important potential source of visitors and revenues and understanding that real world-standard medical care is a top priority for retirees.
Step one in the related efforts to developing medical tourism in Belize has been to task the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) to make a plan. Beltraide has brought in a consultant from Costa Rica to help create a blueprint based on the successful development of medical tourism in that country.
The basics of a program have been outlined:
Meantime, progress is being made on the ground already:
Separate from medical tourism, there are a number of advantages related to healthcare in Belize that expats should consider, in looking at the big picture:
The price is reasonable, and doctors are accessible.
Doctors in Belize treat patients with compassion and spend whatever time is needed to understand your healthcare issue. A doctor in Belize will give his patient his personal cell phone number. Most of the doctors are general practitioners, meaning they are well versed in a broad range of healthcare problems. They are similar to the American doctors of 50 years ago, when doctors regularly visited sick patients at their home.
You can visit a clinic here in the morning for X-rays or blood tests and have the results by that afternoon. Similarly, dentists often perform much of the necessary services at their offices. And my optometrist makes my new prescription glasses on-site within a few hours. We're used to same-day service in Belize.
Many drugs are available to purchase over the counter, without a prescription.
My personal experience with healthcare as an expat in this country for more than five years? Frankly, it has far exceeded my expectations. I had to have emergency hip surgery two years ago. To be honest, I was nervous, even scared. But I had no choice. The surgery had to be done immediately.
And it was, in Belize City. The care I received was, frankly, outstanding, and the outcome of the surgery was everything I could have hoped for. I'm as mobile as ever!
Ann Kuffner Live and Invest in Belize Conference Insider
Editor's Note: A representative from Beltraide made a presentation to the group at last week's Live and Invest in Belize Conference in Belize City, detailing the plan for improving healthcare in this country and for developing medical tourism facilities here. This presentation, along with all other presentations of the two-and-a-half-day event, was recorded and is being included as part of the all-new Live and Invest in Belize Home Conference Kit, available for 24 hours more only for the pre-release price of more than 50% off. Details on the Live and Invest in Belize Home Conference Kit are here.Continue Reading:
Image source: Asteiner
Belize City is referred to as the Calcutta of the Caribbean...a hell hole...a slum town. Those descriptions aren't undeserved, but they refer not to Belize but Belize City and not to the heart and soul of this country but to the face of the town where, unfortunately, its international airport happens to be located.
Smitten as I was by the experience of being in Belize, even I, young and naïve as I was, recognized that Belize City wasn't a nice place to be 28 years ago. This hasn't changed, but it didn't matter to me then and isn't the point now. What won me over from that first visit was the simple, sweet charm of this country, which, somehow, I sensed straightaway.
On that first visit, I met a handful of Belize expats with whom, over the years, I've developed friendships I treasure. Visit by visit, in the years to follow, they showed me Belize, a country founded by pirates and where independence and free thinking are prized above all else. These are qualities that I, too, value a great deal. Instinctively, I guess, putting my feet on the ground in this country for the first time, I sensed that Belize and I were made for each other.
I tend to wax poetic whenever the subject of Belize comes up, and I apologize. My point today is that, boy, do I wish I were there now.
For, in Belize City as I write, all my Belize friends are convened in the meeting rooms of the Ft. George Hotel with the 100 attendees of this week's Live and Invest in Belize Conference. I would have been there, too, had young Jackson not taken ill. Besides, somebody's got to mind the store, so this week's sell-out crowd in Belize City is in Lief Simon's capital hands. Lief has been updating me each morning and evening.
As has Ann Kuffner, full-time Belize expat and our Belize Correspondent, who I've enlisted to be my eyes and ears on the ground. Ann is sending dispatches from the scene that I'll share with you starting tomorrow.
If you couldn't be in Belize yourself this week...well, I couldn't either. But I'll do my best to help us both benefit as much as possible from all the ideas, recommendations, insights, and discoveries being shared and discussed by all those who are there.
I couldn't be in Belize this week, but I am bound and determined to be there in March. When this week's event sold out but interest in attending continued strong, we scrambled to add a second Live and Invest in Belize Conference to this year's calendar. If you couldn't make it for this show, maybe you'll be able to meet me for the new event we've scheduled for mid-March. I believe that, as of this writing, a handful of VIP places remain available for this new Belize conference, which looks like it, too, is going to sell out.
Ann's first report from the scene tomorrow...
Kathleen PeddicordContinue Reading:
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Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.
Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.
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