PAHO/WHO Commends Belize for Eliminating Public Hospital Fees

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PAHO/WHO Commends Belize for Eliminating Public Hospital Fees 2

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has extended its congratulations to the Government of Belize for its groundbreaking decision to eliminate fees at public hospitals. This commendation acknowledges the significant impact this decision will have on improving access to healthcare for the Belizean population.

In a statement, PAHO recognized the boldness of Belize’s decision, highlighting its potential to remove administrative barriers that hinder access to medical care. The organization emphasized that such user fees at the point of service delivery are a major obstacle to accessing health services, often leading to delayed care-seeking, burdensome household expenditures, and restricted access due to administrative processes.

PAHO pointed out that Belize’s initiative aligns with the country’s broader health policy objectives, which aim to expand universal access to health and achieve universal health coverage. This decision is seen as a crucial step in ensuring equitable access to healthcare services for all citizens, regardless of their financial means. In its expression of commendation, PAHO remarked on the lessons that other countries could learn from Belize’s experience and achievements in the health sector. The removal of user fees is viewed as a key component in making healthcare more accessible and reducing the financial strain on households.

Furthermore, PAHO reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Belize in its ongoing efforts to strengthen health systems based on Primary Health Care. This support is crucial for Belize as it continues to undergo substantive health sector transformations aimed at improving health outcomes for its population. The decision by the Government of Belize and the support from PAHO/WHO represent a significant development in public health, showcasing a strong commitment to making healthcare accessible and equitable for all Belizeans.

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