Groundbreaking for New Polyclinic in Placencia, Belize

by Carolee Chanona

With groundbreaking ceremonies today, Placencia Village is soon to benefit from a new polyclinic. The Ministry of Health & Wellness in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations; Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Area Representative for Stann Creek West; and the Placencia Village Council was present to launch the $2.486 million project. The new polyclinic is financed by the Tourism Development Fund established for the destination. The 5,650 sq. foot building will include consultation rooms, reception and registration areas, waiting rooms, an asthma bay, pharmacy, two triage rooms, laboratory, shock/trauma rooms. The polyclinic is expected to provide quality healthcare to southern communities and visitors who travel to these destinations in steadily increasing numbers.

A Vital Addition To The Village, Booming with Tourism

The Placencia pier. Image by Kevin Quischan Photography

In his address, Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness, emphasized the critical importance of collaboration between government, municipalities, and private entities in projects that will provide beneficial impacts to communities. He continued to say:

“This project will provide not only superior healthcare to our people, but will increase the attractiveness of these destinations to tourists, resulting in benefit to these communities and to the nation.”

The Ministry of Health & Wellness will manage the facility and provide the staff and technical requirements, while the Belize Tourism Board will manage the disbursement of the funds. The Placencia Village Council provided the land for the facility. Besides the physical infrastructure, BTB has already secured with local stakeholders and the Heineman-Robicsek Medical Outreach group medical supplies and equipment including an ambulance to the tune of $459,001.44,  representing 59% of needed equipment. The project completion date is scheduled for completion at the end of

After all, Placencia is one of Belize’s leading tourism destinations. Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, Placencia experienced rapid tourism growth, welcoming 66,738 overnight visitors and 374,894 cruise passengers via Harvest Caye in 2019. These visitor arrivals had a direct impact on the demand for health services, thereby influencing guests’ experience. The BTB fully supported and launched the initiative to construct a medical facility for both residents and visitors.  This new polyclinic medical facility in Placencia is also a means of fortifying the sound development of tourism in the area, particularly with the ‘new norm’ of increased focus on high standards of health and safety to fight the current pandemic.

Header image courtesy of the Government of Belize.

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