Wow! After having just discovered the wonderful care available at St Luke Hospital in Belmopan, I just learned of a new clinic opening right here in Placencia. If there is a downside to living in (or even visiting) Placencia, it is the frightening deficit of available health care. We have one polyclinic and one private doctor; both have limited hours and resources. There have been many occasions that someone needs immediate medical assistance and there’s simply no doctor or nurse to be found on the peninsula- it’s scary! I keep a minimum of a quarter of a tank of gas in my car at all times in case we have an emergency and need to reach a hospital (no 24 hour gas stations either- plan ahead!). The Ministry of Health has begun work on a new, larger Polyclinic facility next to the airstrip, but construction is progressing more slowly than expected. This new private Urgent Care will fill a much needed gap in services by providing diagnostic and care for both acute and chronic conditions.
You’ll recognize the Caring Hands Clinic as one of the drop-in Covid testing sites. Now that most every country has done away with travel/testing restrictions, Caring Hands is repurposing their space to become a full service private practice. Woohoo! I met with Dr. Shanna Pot today to get the rundown of what sort of services they’ll offer and I was shocked but excited to hear about all the amenities and specialists they’ll have.
Doctors and Specialists
In addition to a General/ Family Practitioner, Caring Hands will also have a rotating line-up of specialists. A pediatrician on Mondays and Saturdays, an Internist once a week, a Physical Therapist once a week (it’s not Phil), and so on. They’ll also focus on Women’s Health by offering cancer screenings, PAPs and carrying a wide selection of contraceptive and hygiene products in their pharmacy. The clinic will have standard hours of operation but an after hours physician on call for emergencies.
They expect to have the pharmacy open in another week and the hours will be 8am-5pm daily, but if you have an urgent medication need after hours, you can use their urgent care phone number to have someone assist you any time.
The clinic will have most of the bells and whistles: an asthma bay, hydration therapy, on-site pharmacy, even a laboratory in another month or so. The only thing they won’t have (yet) is imaging, so you’ll still have to travel for radiology, but gosh, they’ll be able to diagnose and treat most things here it appears! They’re also open to making house calls if needed to either private residences or hotel rooms and vacation rentals. As far as costs go, they’ll be comparable to the other private hospitals and clinics (Healthcare Partners, Medical Associates, St Luke) at $75bz for a standard appointment/ consultation.
I’m so happy Caring Hands Clinic is opening this facility and will serve our community and visitors. I’ll keep you posted on other services and pricing as I learn more. Their 24-hour hotline is +501 678-CARE (2273)