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Dec 8, 2011

BMDA not consulted on medical tourism

Andre Joel Cervantes

The formal introduction of Medical Tourism in Belize is in the pipeline; it was discussed on Tuesday at a forum spearheaded by the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the Inter-American Development Bank along with Beltraide, Executive Chairman, Michael Singh. The impression left was that the local doctors were all on board with the policy being drafted to introduce medical tourism. But the president of the Belize Medical and Dental Association, Dr. Joel Cervantes, says not so quick. According to Cervantes, the BMDA has not been consulted on the issue. Cervantes also told News Five that several attempts to give their input have been fruitless.

Dr. Joel Cervantes, President, BMDA

“We’re not against medical tourism; we just think that the membership of the BMDA and the executive as such, we are very important players towards the creation of any policy that has to be written by any committee that has been appointed either by the prime minister or the Cabinet. There is a committee that includes of course, the Chairman of BELTRAIDE, the C.E.O. Ministry of Health, from labor, tourism, economic development among others. And even though we have tried perhaps directly and indirectly to have a little bit of voice and say on it we have not been taken into account.”

Delahnie Bain

“So what would you have preferred to have been done?”

Dr. Andre Joel Cervantes

“You know, I understand that you have experts within organizations like BELTRAIDE and you have the technocrats and technical people who work for these different ministries. What society must know is that the membership of the BMDA represents doctors and dentists countrywide that work both in the public and the private sector and you can’t make a policy if you don’t have the expertise from those of us on the ground. We are the people on the ground so definitely whatever policy will have a lot of flaws because I understand the ambition like Mr. Singh put it forward but the approach is not the correct one. I mean if we are the specialized people on the ground, then hear our voice so that this can be guided in an appropriate fashion.”

Delahnie Bain

“Have you seen the actual proposal for the implementation of this medical tourism? Are there things that you would have wanted to change as a medical professional?”

Dr. Andre Joel Cervantes

“Well, we know some things because we have been doing some research, investigating, asking some questions. The first thing, we reached out to the Ministry of Health but unfortunately you know that’s a closed door. We really can’t get to speak to the Minister officially on this matter, we can’t get any feedback from the C.E.O., we can’t get any type of meetings and primarily that should be the first place we should start. So now what we have decided to embark on is to try to touch the doors with the other players on this committee to see if our voice can be heard because we think that our role is a very important one in respect to medical tourism.”

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3 Responses for “BMDA not consulted on medical tourism”

  1. Bzean says:

    Are you kidding me! Belize’s hospitals are far from first rate and we are introducing medical tourism. One of my friend’s kid just died in Belize because they were unable to provide adequate medical care. I can imagine when they start botching the surgeries and people start suing.

    I do hope however, that if they do introduce it, the extra cash can go into upgrading and improving the medical facilities and teaching nurses and doctors how to deal with clients in a professional manner. My uncle had a heart attack and we went to the hospital but we were totally shocked by the rude disrespectful way the nurse treated us. Every morning the doctor came in to say that he would not treat my uncle unless the $700 a day fee was paid. One day the nurse came to yell at us saying we did not pay and when we showed her the receipt she did not even say sorry for her behaviour. Belize has a long way to go before our medical standards are up to par and we can start accepting foreigners in need of medical or cosmetic care.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    They can START WITH DOING BRAIN TRANSPLANTS on SOME OF THE POLITICIANS!!!!

    JOHN-CROW brains WOULD BE AN IMPROVEMENT IN MOST CASES…..

  3. mustard says:

    Belize Doctors are afraid of “LOSING MONEY TO QUALIFIED OTHER DOCTORS”, its called follow the MONEY, the VET ASSOCIATION DOES THE SAME THING ON “VISTING VETS THAT “Do “FREE CLINICS” FOR PEOPLE”,,, THE VET SAYS “IT IS TAKING MONEY OUT THEIR POCKETS”, WHEN THEY DO NOTHING FOR FREE FOR ANY LOCAL, THATS WHY WE HAVE A OVER PROULATION OF SICK AND MAGA DOGS AND CATS”.
    THEY AFRAID OF “LOSING MONEY”. LOL
    WHAT A BUNCH OF “SOB’S”.Its their pockets that they are protecting… yep

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