This article was originally published by Business Barbados.
By consistently achieving significantly higher success rates than the national average of clinics in first world countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America, Barbados Fertility Centre has earned its top ranking as a leader in the world of Assisted Reproduction Medicine. The three inspiring women behind this compelling success story are Barbadian Medical Director, Dr. Juliet Skinner; Clinic Director, Anna Hosford; and Manager, Rachel de Gale.
Dr. Juliet Skinner
Around the time that I was completing my medical training in Ireland, the popular discussion topic was whether IVF (in vitro fertilization) would work better in a more relaxed setting. It seemed to me that this could only have a beneficial impact on outcome and, furthermore, it really struck me that my own homeland Barbados had all the right ingredients: easy access by air from Europe and North America, the appropriate level of medical expertise, ideal climate, excellent accommodation and leisure facilities, friendly people and a happy, healthy, easy-going lifestyle. So, in 2002, my colleague Anna Hosford and I took the plunge and co-founded Barbados Fertility Centre. Our vision was crystal clear in its simplicity – to provide individualized care, with precise attention to detail, in a relaxed setting, aimed at providing the best possible chance of a baby. And, knowing that Barbados did not have a big enough population to support a standalone IVF facility, we set out from day one to wave the Medical Tourism flag for Barbados and promote the island globally, along with our clinic, as a world-class medical fertility service unit.
The first few years were all about development, especially building our infrastructure and appointing key members of staff. In 2004, when we were confident enough to expand into new territory and enter the international market, we invited Rachel de Gale to join our team as the head of administration, finance and customer service. That enabled us to really start driving awareness of the clinic, letting potential clients around the world know that we were here and ready to help them. Of course it helped enormously that we enjoyed significant early success with positive pregnancies locally, regionally and internationally, and we have continued to expand ever since. In fact we have progressed from 40 treatment cycles in year one to over 600 cycles per annum nowadays. The majority of our patients (88%) are non-residents of Barbados who travel solely for the purpose of IVF treatment. They originate from the USA, UK, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean from as far north as Bermuda and as far south as Suriname. But we have even had patients from as far afield as China and Australia. On any given day of any month, our waiting room can look a bit like a United Nations meeting. In the world of infertility, Barbados is now widely recognized as a leading destination to medically achieve pregnancy.
Rachel de Gale
The key to our outstanding progress is that we offer individualized care, combined with low-cost treatment and high success rates. Our costs are approximately 30-50% less when compared to clinics in the USA and UK, and our success rates are double those of these first world countries. This combination has earned Barbados Fertility Centre a fine reputation as a Mecca for successful fertility treatment. Our entire team shows up every day to combine science and dedication with dreams and hopes, to create families for tose persons who struggle with this diagnosed disease of infertility. We know that stress does not cause infertility but it impacts it significantly and, with that in mind, we do all we can to eliminate as much stress as possible on the patient’s path of treatment. This includes administering holistic therapy, such as acupuncture, reflexology and massage, to assist our patients in being at their optimum to receive treatment. To ensure continued progress, we have invested heavily in selecting the best team members to facilitate a successful pregnancy.
Dr. Juliet Skinner
Even though Barbados Fertility Centre has grown substantially since we launched, our core vision has never changed. Our driving force is quite simply to always do our very best. We want to continue to educate people that when they are not getting pregnant the most important thing is to seek help and not to suffer in silence. After more than 13 years of helping clients from all around the world, we are still extremely proud and humbled by every single successful birth. And as we move forward into the future, we will continue to hold firm to this foundation. The really wonderful thing about it all is that our success does not just belong to us alone, but also to the next generation we are helping to build. Our motto is ‘even a 1% improvement in success rate is a baby for someone’!