Belize Removes Fees From Public Hospitals

(CMC) – The Belize government says it is removing fees in public hospitals as part of efforts to promote universal health care in the country.

“This move eliminates financial barriers and enhances healthcare accessibility for all citizens, particularly low-income families,” the government said in a statement.

It said that the current system, which required patients to pay fees for services, posed a significant barrier to healthcare access and that additionally, administrative costs associated with fee collection strained the healthcare system.

“By removing fees, the government aims to improve healthcare access, reduce administrative burdens, and promote health equity,” the statement said, adding statistics reveal that revenue arrears for hospital care bills reached approximately 50 per cent over the past three years, underscoring the need for change.

“Removing fees simplifies the billing process and allows healthcare facilities to focus on delivering quality care,” the statement said, adding that the 134 bed Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is not included in this initiative as its needs will be evaluated separately.

“However, the government remains committed to ensuring quality healthcare access for all Belizeans. The removal of fees in public hospitals aligns with the government’s goal of achieving universal health coverage and health equity. Furthermore, this landmark decision sets an example for other nations and demonstrates Belize’s dedication to fulfilling its social responsibility,” the government said.

The statement said that through this initiative, the government expects to improve public health and enhance economic productivity.

“The Government of Belize remains committed to the well-being of its citizens and will continue implementing measures that promote a healthier, more equitable Belize,” the statement added.