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When official ceremonies were held at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II announcing that it would be offering 24 hour services to Ambergris Caye, island residents were elated with the news that they could now depend on medical serviced during any time of the day. But a few weeks after the inauguration one small detail/misunderstanding that was not explained has islanders frustrated.

When residents started seeking medical services beyond the 8p.m. closing time of the polyclinic and encountered a locked up front door, frustrations started to rise as they have come to understand that the clinic was now offering 24-hour medical service. Ambergris Today was initially given information by a medical official at the Poly Clinic in which it was understood that the Poly Clinic was ONLY open for 24-hours for “Emergency” medical attention.

Personnel at the Poly Clinic explained to Ambergris Today that the medical facility is not providing 24-hour medical services just yet: but this is where the misunderstanding seems to be taking place. Ambergris Today has been contacted by Dr. Javier Zuniga, Belize District Primary Health Care Coordinator, in which he clarified that YES the San Pedro Poly Clinic is a 24-Hour medical facility and that anybody seeking medical attention can and should not be neglected at the clinic.

The clinic’s standard outpatient service (walk-ins) is from 8a.m. to 8p.m. Monday to Friday and only 8a.m. to 12p.m. on Saturdays (closed on Sundays). Once the front doors of the clinic close, a reduced medical staff remains to operate at the Emergency Unit of the clinic for the remainder of the day. This is located on the north end of the building.

Dr. Zuniga explains that the front doors of the Poly Clinic are closed at 8p.m. for security reasons but that the Emergency Entrance is guarded by a security guard who will open the door to anybody who arrives at the clinic thereafter; it is a matter of patients knocking on the Emergency Service door.

There seems to have been some miscommunication between the health personnel at the San Pedro Poly Clinic and Health Management, but Dr. Javier Zuniga indicated to Ambergris Today that he will immediately set to correct the situation.

Island Residents Confused with Poly Clinic’s 24-Hour Services

Medical Emergency Unit inside the Poly Clinic that is operational 24 hours

The entrance to the emergency room is located on the north side of the Poly Clinic. For more information you can call 226-2535.

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Dorian Nuñez

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