Sunday, April 14, 2024

Construction starts on new Caye Caulker clinic; San Pedro still waiting for hospital and new schools

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On Wednesday, October 27th, the Ministry of Health and Wellness posted that the construction for the long-awaited health center in Caye Caulker had begun. The ground-breaking ceremony for the clinic was held two months ago in August. The new clinic in Caye Caulker is funded via a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank and will have an estimated cost of BZ$1.4 million. Plans are to complete it in nine months.

In San Pedro Town, politicians have promised a hospital for years. In March of this year, MOHW’s Minister Hon. Michel Chebat visited the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II and said he was fully aware of the island’s healthcare needs. He indicated that his government is committed to providing San Pedro with the hospital they were promised during the 13+ years under the previous government administration. In fact, identifying and securing properties to construct new health facilities in San Pedro was part of the 100-day manifesto presented by Area Representative Hon. Andre Perez.  Although the commitment from the People’s United Party administration to build a hospital for Ambergris Caye is ‘on record,’ no timeline has been given.

The island’s primary referral medical facility is the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II operates with limited resources. On many occasions, the health center has received assistance from local and international groups. Unfortunately, it continues under-resourced, and emergencies are, in most cases, airlifted to Belize City for advanced medical attention.

San Pedranos are also waiting for the three new schools promised north of San Pedro Town. Although a ground-breaking ceremony for a new pre-school, primary, and high school in northern Ambergris Caye was held in December 2019 under the previous administration, the buildings have not come to fruition.  The schools are part of a GOB project to build 35 schools countrywide. Some have already been completed on the mainland.

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