Ashanti Gill arrived at the Matron Roberts clinic by bus. Her eight-month pregnancy and two-year old son made walking there difficult, but little Erik had been suffering with a cough and fever the night before and needed a check-up.
“He wasn’t feeling well all night and barely slept.” Ashanti Gill, health service user
“The idea is to offer as many services as possible in the least number of visits. If patients have to go elsewhere for an analysis, the likelihood is that they just won’t do it. This is why it is vital that we offer them here.” Dr. Karl Jones, Medical Coordinator at Matron Roberts
The polyclinic offers a wide-range of integrated services including laboratory blood tests, nutritional advice, dentistry, family planning, breastfeeding counseling, cervical cancer screening and pharmacy, all in the same place.
Integrated health care for women and children is one of the main focuses of the Matron Roberts Polyclinic. This primary care clinic provides comprehensive services to 24,000 people in the southern part of Belize City, an area with high rates of unemployment and gun-violence.
“Doctors see between 150 and 200 patients per day. We want to keep improving the quality of care, reducing wait times and providing faster triage.” Alexy Rosado, Manager at the Matron Roberts polyclinic
This is just one example of integrated primary care services that are developing right across Belize. The services improve access to quality care, ensure a continuum of care and use resources more efficiently.
Providing integrated health services is a strategy promoted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Belize to achieve universal access to health and universal health coverage.
PAHO, regional office for the Americas of WHO, is also an implementing partner in a five-year Ministry of Health and European Union project that will allocate almost seven million Euros to strengthening the country’s health system.
“To me this is the best clinic in Belize. It is clean, the staff is friendly, the doctors are friendly, so I prefer it here.” Ashanti Gill