A flyer recently posted at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic waiting area has raised questions among residents seeking medical care. So, I visited the clinic this morning to see how difficult it would be to get my own ID card.
With a waiting area full of people, I decided to head to the administrators office to see if he could walk me through the process and answer my questions.
I met with Mr. Owen Vellos, clinic administrator, who assured me that the process is simple and necessary. The card will expedite the triage process and provide doctors and nurses basic information about the patient as well as past medical records from public medical centers nationwide through the Belize Health Information System.
Patients can present the card at public hospitals nationwide and receive adequate treatment according to their past medical record. Pharmacies in these facilities have access to the system so the ID card can be presented instead of a written prescription, making the process paperless.
What about Emergencies?
Mr. Vellos assured me that NO patient will be turned away for not having an ID card. Emergency patients will be treated immediately and registered once they have been stabilized. This, of course, includes tourists visiting San Pedro.
Still curious to know how truly painless the process would be, I visited the Nursing Supervisor, Nurse Marion Jones, to inquire about the cards. It really is as quick as providing a photo ID (Preferably Social Security Card). Searching my name, she found two Amber Edwards in the system. She then used my date of birth to identify me and proceeded to fill out the card with my assigned number. On future visits searching the number on my card will immediatly pull up my medical records as pictured below.