Chaa Creek Hails The Rise of Healthcare in Belize

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Healthcare in Belize continues to improve thanks to a novel new initiative between US Military medical officers and their Belizean counterparts, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek.

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“We’re fortunate that since the early days of independence in 1981, and with the growth of tourism, people saw that quality health care was part of the equation,”

A novel new initiative between US Military medical officers and their Belizean counterparts is good news for everyone living in or visiting Belize, according to Chaa Creek safety officer Emil Bradley.

Mr Bradley said a report by the US Military’s Defence Video and Imagery Distribution Service [(DVIDS) that Government of Belize and US military met 24 March 2014 to discuss final arrangements to prepare for the upcoming New Horizons medical readiness training exercises,or MEDRETES, in the Corozal region in Belize is excellent news for people in Belize.

“Each year we see improvements to medical care in Belize that are keeping pace with population growth, the rise of ecotourism and the increase of people moving to Belize to retire, and this is great news.

“After all, superior medical care is the cornerstone to quality of life, and it’s heartening to see that health remains a priority in Belize, he said.
According to the DVIDS report, initially, Belizean and military medical providers will use the MEDRETES as an opportunity to learn from one another as they provide medical care to residents out of schools in Chunox, Progresso and Libertad.

"The three schools agreed to let us use their facilities to provide medical care, so we reconnected with the principals to make sure everything was ready to go," Lt. Col. James Smith, New Horizons chief liaison officer said.

He added that Belizean and U.S. medical teams will work side by side "to provide general medicine, dentistry and veterinarian care to the local population."

In recent years, healthcare has been a major issue in Belize, which is provided through both public and private healthcare systems, Mr Bradley said.
“We’re fortunate that since the early days of independence in 1981, and with the growth of tourism, people saw that quality health care was part of the equation,” Mr Bradley said, “Looking back it was a visionary approach on the part of both the government and private sector, which lobbied to ensure that the people of Belize, and its visitors, had access to health care.

“Here at Chaa Creek, for example, relationships were established with local health clinics so that if a guest was injured or suffering from a pre-existing condition, they would be looked after by competent doctors who we knew and trusted. It was considered to be part of the services we provide our guests.

“Any adventure resort will eventually be exposed to some accident or mishap, and we wanted to be ready from day one. As security manager, it was always understood that my and my staff’s job was always proactive and reactive. Make things as safe and secure as possible, and in the event of a mishap, be ready to respond.” he said.

“I’m proud to say that our record in this area is excellent, especially when you consider that we offer a true back-to-nature experience and activities such as horseback riding, canoeing and other outdoor activities ranging from soft to moderately extreme,” Mr Bradley said.

With regards to the MEDRETES project, Lt James said that the Belizean government and U.S. military representatives have coordinated exercises to ensure the best possible care is provided to the local population while also providing valuable training opportunities for Belizean and U.S. medical professionals.

Mr Bradley said it was all one more indication that recently independent Belize, which became a sovereign nation in 1981, was maturing as a modern country offering quality health care to its people and visitors.

“We’re still a new, developing country, but as far as health, education, quality of life and other indicators, I’m happy that were moving in the right direction,” he said.

“Even our tourism is based on sustainable, responsible travel, and I think our record in that area is second to none. Not many people know that even here at Chaa Creek, under our Chaa Creek Cares program, 10% of all room revenue has for years gone directly into environmental and social projects. You add all those things up, including the recent cooperation between the Government of Belize and the US Military, and you see the public and private sector working to create a better Belize.”

“I think all of that taken together points to a healthy future for our country and children,” Mr Bradley said.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is an award winning eco resort set within a 365 acre private nature reserve in Belize.

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Mark Langan
The Lodge at Chaa Creek
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