Medical care in Belize: high quality, low cost

Belize has long been known as an area of outstanding natural beauty, and combined with the incredible financial benefits of living in the country, it’s easy to see why it appeals to so many ex-patriates. But what about healthcare?

In the past, certain reports may have painted Belize healthcare in a negative light, when in actual fact the country enjoys one of the highest levels of healthcare in the world – not just at a private level, but at a public level too.

Highly skilled professionals

Medical professionals of all specialities make an incredibly good living in Belize, so it’s hardly surprising to learn that some of the world’s finest general practitioners, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, dentists and even chiropractors are attracted to the generally high standard of living afforded by Belize citizens.

Medical care costs

Given the high level of care available in the country, one might expect the price of medical procedures to be expensive. On the contrary, the cost of standard medical care (including prescriptions or non-invasive procedures) is actually considerably lower than that of the same services in North America – roughly half the price, in fact.

Waiting times

Most UK residents who have required medical treatment at any point in the past two decades will have more than likely encountered waiting times. In Belize, there is an excellent public hospital which operates in much the same way a UK NHS Trust might be expected to – with highly qualified teams of doctors and nurses providing an excellent standard of care around the clock. The main difference in Belize is that there are relatively small waiting times. On any given day, there can be little or no waiting time in public hospitals, and even less so in private establishments.

A truly modern private healthcare system

Belize is home to two modernised private hospitals, which offer top quality healthcare at a fraction on the cost of neighbouring states. In certain circumstances, US tourists have been known to take the short trip to Belize in order to undergo an emergency procedure (such as the fracture of a bone and associated treatments) for far cheaper than in built-up areas such as San Francisco, Las Vegas or Miami.

Belize and health tourism

Some elderly expats are even willing to go the length to undergo more serious procedures such as joint replacement surgery and pacemaker installation in Belize – which is a sure testament to the quality of healthcare afforded by the country.

Cancer treatment

Cancer has always been a relatively misunderstood disease, although Belize has begun the fightback against cancer like most other wealthy nations. Although Belize does have a reasonably high cancer rate when compared to other economically developed countries, this can, to some degree, be attributed to native lifestyle. However, Belize does have its own Cancer Society, which is dedicated to spreading awareness of how a healthier, active lifestyle can prevent the onset of the disease, and cancer treatments in the country are every bit as advanced as you would expect to see in the UK or US.