San Pedro has come a long way in providing medical services; one of the pillars in the medical services on the island was undoubtedly the late Dr. Otto Rodriguez. For his many years of invaluable services to the community of San Pedro an official renaming of the San Pedro Poly Clinic took place on Friday, October 7, in honor of Dr. Otto Rodriguez.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the San Pedro Lions Club and the business community of Ambergris Caye, through the patronage of The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), participated in an effort to rename the clinic to Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II and to expand the opening hours and services presently being offered at the clinic.
Father Arturo Añonuevo conducted the invocation after which the official welcome remarks were delivered by Mayor Elsa Paz. President of the San Pedro Lions Club, Mrs. Marina Kay then addressed the crowd and gave a brief remark on the great work and service that fellow Lion member, Dr. Otto Rodriguez rendered at the Lions clinic.
The event was very emotional as those who knew Dr. Otto are very fond of this commemoration. Mr. Elito Arceo of the San Pedro Business Association delivered a very emotional and heartfelt speech. The business community is playing a vital role in the expansion of services at the San Pedro Poly Clinic and Mr. Arceo stated that the business community was more than glad to be a part of this expansion services for the betterment of medical care in San Pedro.
In the absence of Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Toursim, Culture and Civil Aviation, Mr. Daniel Guerrero delivered a brief speech on his behalf. Key Note Address speaker for the event was Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health, who stated that with the collaboration of organizations and having proper ties and agreements anything is possible.
“Much has been accomplished on the island and I would like to take this opportunity at this memorable occasion of the renaming of the San Pedro Poly Clinic and expansion services to announce that as of today, Friday, October7, the lobbying of a Hospital for the island of San Pedro will take place,” stated Hon. Pablo Marin. “The first thing we will need is land for this hospital to be built and I would like to ask the cooperation of island residents, business and Town Council for all the help we can get to make this hospital a reality”.
Mireya Rodrigez, wife of the late Dr. Otto Rodriguez and Henry Rodriguez, were present at ceremony and Mrs. Rodriguez addressed the gathering and with tears in her eyes she thanked everyone for all they have done for her husband and her family. She expressed that this occasion is a very memorable one and is very grateful to the community of San Pedro for all their support during their time of loss and recovery.
Mayor Elsa Paz along with Hon. Pablo Marin assisted Mireya and Henry in the unveiling of the Poly Clinic’s new sign after which Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health delivered the Vote of Thanks.
It is a great honor to have the San Pedro Poly Clinic be renamed in honor a great husband, father, doctor and friend, Dr. Otto Rodriguez. The inauguration ceremony also included the announcement of expansion of opening hours of the poly clinic and services presently being offered.
New opening hours for the clinic are 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Government of Belize has purchased and installed a new x-ray machine, ultrasound, EKG machine, and lab equipment. The clinic will also hire 11 new staff members, including a lab technician, pharmacy staff, and dental assistant. These additional staff members will allow for the expanded hours and will enable the clinic to perform on-site lab testing, x-rays, and a number of other services that it currently does not provide.
This expansion will bring the GOB’s total expenditure on the San Pedro Polyclinic up from $1 million annually to more than $1.2 million per year. The private sector will provide $100K per year for two years and the San Pedro BTIA Chapter will work along with the San Pedro Lion’s Club, San Pedro Business Association, and San Pedro Town Council to raise the funds. SP-BTIA will be responsible for organizing the fund raising, collecting and accounting for the funds, disbursing the funds to GOB, providing timely and transparent accounting of the funds, and will hold the GOB accountable for what they have agreed to provide.
The new services to be provided at clinic include gynecological, pediatric, ultrasound and x-ray. Expansion of the services and opening hours at the poly clinic will be taking place effective Wednesday, October 12, 2011.