Ambergris Hopes Medical Clinic to turn into 24 hours private medical center in November
Friday, August 1st, 2014
Work has commenced for a much needed 24-hour private medical facility on Ambergris Caye. The confirmation came from one of the project partners Doctor Daniel Gonzalez of Ambergris Hopes Clinic. The project will be done in two phases, and the first is already in progress.
The new medical facility is expected to address islanders’ long-standing demand for a 24-hour medical facility to service over 28,000 permanent and temporary residents, as well as its tourists. “I have been doing 24-hour medical service for the past 20 plus years. But really, this was a project I have always wanted to do in my medical career. With the growing population and the high influx of tourists, I have seen the need on the island for such an essential service. In that regard I have teamed up with other partners for this project,” said Gonzalez.
The first phase of the project will see the construction of a new structure behind the current Ambergris Hope Medical Clinic located at the northern end of Pescador Drive. That structure will host diagnostic service suchas X-rays, ultrasounds and mammograms, medical staff 24 hours of the day for emergency service, equipped and trained ambulance and paramedic service and a hyperbaric chamber for diving issues and other medical complications. “The idea is to enlarge the current clinic and have a better facility. This service will be something that is more established and professional that will be in place to meet the current demands, especially after hour emergencies.”
Gonzalez explained that he has partnered with several stakeholders, including Belize Diagnostic Center in Belize City and Dr. Irma Hoy. When asked how he expects the medical facility to be sustainable, Dr Gonzalez said part of the success will depend on the support from the tourism business sector. “My idea is that after the completion of the facility, to approach the business community with a medical plan. The concept is for the tourism businesses to pay a standard monthly premium that will depend on several variables including size, and it will cover services for their guests at our medical facility.” Gonzalez said that the private facility will also have a policy in place that will help address medical emergency needs for locals.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed and up and running by November 2014 after which they expect to move on to the second phase. The second phase will see the new structure connected to the existing building currently used as the private clinic. Once the second phase is completed, Dr Gonzalez says he expected to extend services that will see specialized medical services brought in on a weekly basis.
Dr. Gonzalez said that the new project will see the creation of new jobs in the medical field since doctors and nurses will be hired as part of the medical team.