Medical Care In San Pedro

Unhappy patient in the waiting room.
Unhappy patient in Dr. Franklin's chair.

 Despite the frown, my youngest Reef-Rat's visit to a local dentist last week was quick and painless. We only waited 10 minutes to be seen. (Which is very quick here!) Dr. Franklin Hernandez checked and cleaned her teeth in about 20 minutes total. (Which scares me a little, I'm not going to lie!) Just the same, she had no major issues and he suggested another check-up in 2 months time. Fair enough, this was painless for me as well; the office visit and cleaning only cost $50 BZ! You won't see that in North America.

Medical care in Belize ranges in cost somewhat but is generally inexpensive. A word to the wise: if you are here in San Pedro, go see Dr. Dan at the Hope Clinic if you have any medical issues. An office visit with him ranges from $15 -$40 US as opposed to the hundreds that some other clinics will charge (...gringos especially it is rumored.) Medical facilities here are not equipped to handle large-scale emergencies or serious illness but will get you through an infection or scorpion sting with ease. Prescription drugs are also fairly inexpensive here but availability is limited so check beforehand to confirm whether or not the local pharmacies stock your meds. If you require a regular prescription I would pack a few month's worth just in case; you wouldn't want to find yourself in a pickle.

Although there is no Class B hospital 10 minutes down the road here, there are competent medical professionals and facilities that are equipped well enough to deal with minor emergencies. Dr. Dan has assured me that his clinic could easily handle one of my son's regular croup attacks which typically leave him blue and gasping for air, being shuffled into an ambulance at 2 a.m. and admitted to hospital for 48 hrs or so. Since I really didn't want to put that to the test, I asked him to prescribe an anti-inflammatory steroid as a preventative measure, only to be used in the case that I hear that "seal bark" in the middle of the night. He had no problem doing so and the prescription cost $41.00 BZ for an entire bottle of liquid suspension. (In Canada I pay about the same for only a few ounces.)

The local docs do have emergency #'s and if something is quite serious, a patient would be transported by air to the nearest facility that could handle the situation.

On the upside, the number of people flocking to Mexico for various medical procedures is growing. Some of the more popular include cosmetic dental facilities and of course the Gerson Institute, an alternative Cancer treatment center as seen in "The Beautiful Truth", a fascinating documentary if you ever have the time to watch it.

Any specific questions regarding medical care in SP? Let me know :)
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