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Jan 14, 2021

Healthy Living: Cayo Dialysis Clinic

A new health clinic opened its doors in the West on Wednesday. It will offer a much-needed service to a very high-risk population and relieve them of risky inter-district travel.  Tonight in Healthy Living, we take a look at the opening of the Ramona Linda Dialysis Clinic in San Ignacio, Cayo.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The ribbon cutting of the new Ramona Linda Dialysis Clinic in San Ignacio signified the treatment centers opening. Government Minister and other guests celebrated the addition of the new clinic in the West, but the new access to the life-saving treatment is most meaningful to those whose lives depend on it.


Gloria Garcia

Gloria Garcia, Dialysis Patient

“I have been a dialysis patient for three years, and Im living a normal life with hemodialysis. I have tried the clinic I came last week, and it is perfect and I am happy it is here in San Ignacio. And many are out there waiting to come and take their dialysis here.I just want to look a normal like not just normal but a quality life but to continue with the life doing the things that I would do.”


Dialysis is a procedure that people with kidney failure rely on several times a week to clean their blood. In his address at the clinics opening, Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat shed light on the growing number of persons who need access to quality dialysis treatment.


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness

“The patients ability to access this service at an affordable cost is a bottleneck. There are approximately three hundred persons in need to dialysis treatment in Belize. The hemodialysis program is a public good however due to limited availability of this service in the public health system and the shortage of trained human resource to carry out the procedures the government off Belize must rely on private institutions to follow a selection process based on severity of their cases. Currently eighty-eight patients are in the government sponsored hemodialysis program and thirty-one are on a waiting list.”


One dialysis session at Ramona Linda costs two hundred dollars. The Ministry of Health covers the cost of two treatments a week for those on the hemodialysis program. The majority of patients must fundraise to cover the cost of their treatment. And they come from all over the country. Chairman of the Clinic, Carlos Perrera says making dialysis accessible for more people in the West means they no longer need to risk their health to travel to for their treatment.


Carlos Perrera

Carlos Perrera, Chairman, Ramona Linda Dialysis Clinic

“Over the years and even in other clinics as you are aware I have interest in. We found that there was a major amount of patients travelling from the west to Belize City to the North. I think it is very important to take into consideration that the government doesn’t have the resources therefore it takes private sector like myself to make that investment.   The purpose of putting the project in San Ignacio is that there is significant amount of patient who are travelling to two private centres here in the City from Cayo. And a lot of those patients continue to cry about having it more accessible in san Ignacio. That is why we place the clinic in san Ignacio for accessibility of those particular patients.”


The new clinic is equipped with thirteen stations with eight modern dialysis machines ready for use. Perrera added that the plan is to create another dialysis center in Belmopan in the near future.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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