Medical Tourism: A Potential Money Maker in Belize Print E-mail
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Thursday, 09 August 2012 00:00

Dr. Massimo ManziIn an effort to open the platform for discussion in Belize regarding the possibility of a country-strategy and market creation for medical tourism, key stakeholders participated in a workshop led by Dr. Massimo Manzi of Costa Rica, and the Belize Trade and Investment Development (BELTRAIDE).   The workshop took place on Friday, August 3rd, 2012, at the George Price Center in Belmopan.

During the workshop, presentation and discussion, Manzi divulged the existing preference of tourists seeking medical attention due to key factors, primarily, cheaper medical services in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica.

The act of travelling abroad to receive medical treatment, and to undergo the recovery process by tourists in a country (not native to him or her) is the accurate classification for medical tourism, says Manzi. 

 As a small country, the main points for Belize to consider as a potential Medical Tourism provider is in terms of cheaper rates and the availability of medical services for not only the tourism consumers, but primarily local consumers alike.

It was agreed that key organizations such as the medical field in Belize, BELTRAIDE, the Government of Belize (GOB), and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), would all have to unify their efforts in drafting a sustainable plan for this prospective market.

Stakeholders conceded that such a venture should not be rushed until all arenas are explored and studied.  A major factor for success, Manzi explained, would be the “Internationally accredited healthcare infrastructure”.  This refers to international recognition of Belize’s medical accomplishments and growth.

The workshop discussion also touched on the need for a versed medical team providing the needed and often sought after medical services by tourists.

While the platform for this discussion have been initiated, the positive and negative implications for Belize would have to be thoroughly examined amongst stakeholders and the government, taking lessons from countries such as Costa Rica who are currently providing Medical Tourism services.

Manzi is to return to Belize in September where he will be conducting further consultation on the issue of  global medicine in Belize.