Belize Takes Steps to Become Latin America’s Leading Medical Tourism Destination with Benchmark South Korean Medical Technologies

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Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2022. 11:21 a.m. CST.

Photo credit: MED

By Ruben Morales Iglesias: Belize is taking steps to upgrade its hospital and healthcare services with the aim of becoming a leading medical tourism destination with benchmark South Korean medical technologies, the Ministry of Economic Development said.

This week, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) is carrying out an initial review to launch feasibility studies for the modernization of five hospitals across the country, the Ministry of Economic Development said. The review is carried out by a technical team of consultants from the Consultora Multiprofesional Sociedad Anónima hired by CABEI.

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

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

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

“The aim is to conduct studies for the construction, adaptation and/or rehabilitation of establishments, the deployment of national digital health information systems and the strengthening of the management and administration capacities of hospitals” , said the MED.

“The cooperation will help the Ministry of Health and Welfare to modernize health infrastructure and strengthen the institutional, technical and operational capacities of hospital administrators and doctors.”

On Monday, MED CEO Dr Osmond Martinez and Ministry of Health and Welfare CEO Dr Julio Sabido welcomed the technical team of consultants, which also includes Belizean professionals, and offered government support as they carried out their work.

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

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

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

It is understood that the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan will become the lead hospital in this regard.

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