Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism Draft Proposal Ready, All On Board
The consultations on medical tourism have been going on for the last three months. And now the consultant has come up with what’s called a draft sector strategy – which means consultation is finished – and now the work comes to crafting the policy document. The various stakeholders held a final consultation followed by a press conference in Belize City today – and here’s what they said:..

Mike Singh, CEO – Trade and Investment
“As we discussed in the meetings the vision of the government is to develop an industry that will create employment job opportunities, secondly, will afford us technology transfer to create the kind of knowledge jobs that Belize needs and also improve for Belizeans healthcare that right now is being exported. A lot of our Belizeans healthcare recipients actually travel to places like Merida, Guatemala and Miami for medical attention.”

Massimo Manzie, Consultant
“This has been 3 months that we will be in Belize to analyze the competitiveness environment that Belize has. Belize has a lot to offer to medical tourist. This is a renowned retirement destination – a natural tourism destination. This is a place where people really like to come; this is an English speaking country – a country that is not facing the same communication problems that other problems in Latin America that are willing to receive patients are facing.”

“Altogether makes the competitiveness positioning that we are finding as the value offer for Belize.”

Dr. Peter Allen, CEO Ministry of Health
“Really from the government’s perspective we see ourselves playing the role of catalyst and making sure that we can try to create the proper environment through which this industry can prosper essentially driven by the private sector and obviously we have an important role in terms of creating the appropriate regularity framework to make sure that it is done in a safe way.”

“There are always challenges and just as there are great opportunities there are also risks. The last few months we’ve been doing our best to take a back seat and listen to everybody’s comments – listen to what everybody is saying and how everybody would like to see this industry develop so that we can come up with a strategy which is truly Belizean.”

Dr. Joel Cervantes, BMDA
“We are very much into wanting for a proper model to be put into place. For us what this means is definitely much needed funds that our government and people need for the development of Belize can come about. We know this will come from foreign investors; we know there might be local investors involved.”

“As medical and dental experts our wish is definitely to be involved. We know as Belizean doctors and dentist that we can’t do all the work, we know we don’t have all the expertise; we know we have some people among our ranks that are very well qualified. We also know that many doctors, many dentists have stayed behind with respect to their growth at a professional level have not upgraded. What this means by having medical tourism come to Belize is that across the border the standard of medicine practices here both for locals Belizeans and for our foreign guests who are going to come to Belize is going to be better. Definitely the Belize Medical and Dental Association is on-board and you probably are going to hear more about this in the future.”

The draft proposal will now be taken for further feedback – and the final proposal should be ready by the first week in November.

Source: 7 News Belize