Tuesday, October 2, 2012



The state of the art in private doctor sector service in Belize.  Basically it is lousy!

Belizean doctors and those from nearby countries that have immigrated and naturalized here, or in permanent residency, have changed.  Gone is the GENERAL PRACTICIONER, in an office of his own home.  Nowadays all Belizean doctors are interested in getting rich quick as possible, with a new car and a big cement building.
  Generally speaking, they stick to the quick stuff.  First Aid, or standard repetitive type illnesses and such.  They get anything complicated and they shove you off to somebody else.  TIME IS MONEY to these old doctors, or new ones, who are now concentrating on having loads of money for when they get old.  The new progression is to the CLINIC.  It may be the same all over the world with the advent of television and computers? The idea is for the old time single general practicioner to invest in testing services.  Then run their clients through the testing business.  TESTS pay MORE than the doctor visit, which has been seconded to the position of the attraction.  Most of these doctors have gone through the academic mill and know their biology and muscles, veins, tendons, and organs and how the body works.  That is a written exam, theory in the head.  It becomes something else in the real world.  Diagnostic ability seems to be NIL.  They have the academic theory down, but when it gets intricate, they can't look at your eyeballs, feel your pulse, peer at your tonsils and tell you what is wrong with you, better than an accuracy rate of 5 %.  Basically, your modern Belizean doctor in Belize seems to be a PILL PUSHER. The academic learning might be okay, but the diagnostic ability they are supposed to get, as interns is sadly lacking.  I visited ten doctors over the past year and each gave me a different diagnosis, for the same thing.  Most of course, those with clinics, are going to prescribe antibiotic pills, more on chance that it might work, or placebos.  First though, they are going to run you through some tests and they just so happened to have an ultra sound service, or blood testing service, or an x ray machine, or CT scan, or MRI machine and an house pharmacy.  Not that you need them?  A good doctor with diagnostic skill doesn't need them most of the time.  But the money making fake doctors, will definitely insist on tests, as this is were the money is.  The other money scam is making you come back again and again.  Should you be lucky enough the pills work, no harm done to the doctor, except loss of income.  The idea is to keep you coming repeatedly, to increase the bottom line. If the antibiotic pills don't work, then they will sell you another type or brand.  Same story, come back in a week and pay again.
  The next level up in the MEDICAL MAFIA is the private hospital or clinic.  The most financially successful ones, have a floating bunch of doctors on call, who can come in, for a pittance commission service. The money is in the services. They load up your bill with everything, from anything you touch, or is used on you.  It is not unusual to see a normal former general doctor fee of $40, they pay the floating doctor,  be increased to $50,000 or $60,000.  If they can intimidate you with horror stories and a carny con line of pap, they will get you to stay in their clinic or hospital.  This doesn't work with the really poor.  They go to Government Regional hospitals and clinics. I believe the bigger ones are designed mostly to cater to those with the National Health Insurance and that is their rip off target with overstuffed bills.  There are a lot of thieves in Belize, but at the top of the pyramid, like in the USA, the medical private business, is at the top of the pyramid.  Only rarely does a politician, steal, or embezzle more.
  The best routine medical services are found from CUBAN doctors, on contract by a government to government basis.  You will only find these in hospitals and clinics in the larger towns.  Even here, if you get a local doctor, I advise you to ask for a CUBAN doctor.  They are better trained and certainly have better diagnostic capabilities.  I may be misinformed, but I believe they are not allowed to do any invasive surgery.  The local doctors have apparently a monopoly on this.  You get a CUBAN doctor you will get the best service with promptness. They are not financially obligated, being CUBAN GOVERNMENT workers.
  The regional hospital system works well for 90% of the medical problems of the populace.  It fails, when you get trauma surgery.  To overcome lawsuits and such, they have a system of ambulances to take badly shot, knifed, or other trauma victims to the port town in the center of the Eastern coast.  Out West here, the stabilizing of serious accident injury is known as a death ride.  The 3 hour trip to the coast usually ends with death on the surgery table, according to local media reports.  The treatment and service are touted as perfect, BUT THE PATIENT DIED ANYWAY sort of thing.  

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