Hospital for Ambergris Caye on hold says Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Friday, June 26th, 2020
Residents of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, have, for many years, been promised a proper medical facility on the island. To date, during emergencies, islanders and visitors remain vulnerable. Apparently, this delay will continue as Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow stated on Thursday, June 25th, via a virtual press conference that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the strain on funding, the plans for a full-service hospital on Ambergris Caye will remain on hold for an indefinite time.
Prime Minister Barrow told The San Pedro Sun that the initial plans for an equipped medical facility on Ambergris Caye have been called off. “We had discussed several possibilities,” said Barrow. “There was a former tourism property that was no longer used for that purpose, and we talked about converting it into a hospital. We had approached the Taiwanese for funding and then came COVID-19.” Barrow said that the project would have involved a rehabilitation/refurbishing process, but the funding is not forthcoming at this time. Thus, the hospital idea will be on hold. The location of the former tourism property mentioned by the prime minister was not revealed, but it is believed to be north of San Pedro.
When the Philip Goldson International Airport opens on August 15th, and tourists start coming to the island, any person who becomes infected with COVID-19 will first be isolated and only transported off the island in severe cases. These persons will be required to stay at home or in their hotel while being monitored by health personnel. These health services will be available for both locals and visitors.
Since 2011 talks of a hospital on the island have been forthcoming but have never materialized. The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II is the island’s main medical facility, offering its services with limited resources. In cases of emergencies, patients are stabilized and then transported to Belize City for further medical care.
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