What You Need to Know about Belize’s Healthcare System as a Traveler
You’re on vacation—you don’t want to think about what happens if you get sick or have an accident. Sickness and accidents, however, are always a possibility. If either of these things happens while you’re in Belize, you’ll want to know how the healthcare system works so you can get the treatment you need.
When most people think about Belize, they might not think of it as one of the most medically advanced countries in the world. And it’s true, the medical care is better in some parts of Belize than in others. Here what you need to know about getting healthcare in Belize as a visitor to this country:
How the Healthcare System Works
Belize has essentially two tiers of healthcare. The first is government-run and is very inexpensive. It is readily available and will often be more than enough for scrapes, bumps, and minor stomach bugs. This system usually has a foothold even in Belize’s smaller cities and villages, so no matter where you are, you are probably not far from medical attention, should you need it.
The second tier is privately-owned hospitals and clinics. These hospitals and clinics offer much more advanced care and the facilities are usually nicer than the public clinics and hospitals. They are, also, more expensive. If you have a more serious issue, however, paying a little bit more to go to one of the privately-owned hospitals that offers the kind of care you need is probably a good idea. The last thing you want to do is let an issue fester until you return to your home country.
The Good and the Bad
One of the best things about Belize’s healthcare system is the cost. Coming from a country like America or from a region like Europe, most travelers are surprised at how inexpensive tests and treatments are. If you’re worried about a parasite, you will probably pay less than $20 to be tested for that parasite and your treatment will cost even less from one of Belize’s readily available pharmacies.
More serious issues, however, might even be out of the reach of the privately-owned facilities. Most medical facilities in Belize simply do not have the resources to handle all issues that might arise, so be careful and if you do need serious medical attention, be cautious about which facility you choose.