Barbados has recently launched an initiative to bring its emerging medical tourism sector onto the world stage. With the selection of American World Clinics – Barbados, Ltd. (AWC), for the development of an international healthcare complex at the St. Joseph’s Hospital property in St. Peter,
Barbados has once again demonstrated its commitment to quality and innovation. AWC will develop the 21.5-acre St. Joseph’s parcel into a complete healthcare campus. The hub of the campus will be a 100,000 square feet, 12 operating room American World Clinics medical/surgical specialty hospital. This medical centre will attract patients seeking the latest advances provided by a staff of board certified American trained specialists and their Canadian, European and Barbadian counterparts. Target markets include the UK, Canada, Western Europe, South America, the CARICOM region and the U.S.A. Planned medical specialties include dentistry, plastic surgery, general surgery, bariatric surgery, gynaecological surgery, orthopaedic surgery, ENT, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, urology, dermatology, specialists in internal medicine, pain medicine, family medicine, radiology and pathology. Additional development will bring specialty centres in wellness/lifestyle medicine, oncology, neurosciences and cardiology. Beyond patient care, biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies are being actively recruited for product development and educational relationships.
Robert F. Priddy, AWC President, explains the rationale for investing in Barbados:
While lower cost has traditionally been a primary driver for patients seeking care abroad, recent studies indicate that technology, choice, access and quality parameters are the new drivers for medical tourists. Patient safety, political stability, superior visitor amenities and recognized credentialing of providers are all key considerations. Facilitators are experiencing push back from both patients and insurers when it comes to locations experiencing social unrest, poor marks for convenience and comfort, and a lack of recognized credentials at the physician and facility level. In response, facilitators in the U.S. are redirecting business within the borders of the USA. In contrast, during recent interviews with AWC principals, U.S. facilitators have stated a willingness to send patients to Barbados. Barbados and AWC represent the ideal response to what visitors want: a desirable, safe, friendly destination with good infrastructure and ease of access coupled with state of the art medical care.
This vote of confidence in Barbados is underscored by Paul Angelchik, MD, CEO of AWC:
When we started to look at locations for AWC I developed a matrix of what I thought might be the most desirable characteristics. And when I plugged everything into the matrix, Barbados was at the top. It’s a safe and friendly country; it’s in the same time zone as Eastern USA; it has wonderful tourism amenities, with nice hotels and restaurants and beautiful beaches. And they also have a commitment to excellence which I found to be unique within the Caribbean basin. And finally it is a country that has an entrepreneurial spirit and they want to develop new sectors in their economy. It was just such a great fit for us. American World Clinics and Barbados represent the best in medical tourism, first class medical care, first class facilities and a first class destination – the perfect formula for success.