Jamaica to Attract Patients and Physicians to Country for Medical Procedures

GWest Centre in Montego Bay, Jamaica is looking to lure in medical tourists to the country, as well as foreign physicians to administer medical care there.

GWest Centre in Montego Bay, Jamaica is making a splash as the country’s up-and-coming medical tourism location. It has a unique approach — recruiting physicians from the U.S. to work at the facility while also enjoying a Caribbean vacation. The new facility, which is still under development and looking to receive accreditation, has been designed to look like a luxury resort. And given Montego Bay’s location is just 843 km south of Miami, it’s a more convenient medical tourism location than comparable offerings in the Asia Pacific. GWest’s vision is to entice medical tourists with a stunning medical center that offers expensive surgical procedures at a discounted price, somewhere between 25 and 40 percent off its expected cost in the U.S. Jamaican government officials have been proponents of these plans, noting that attracting more than 100,000 medical tourists within the next ten years could provide US$600 million in revenue to the country. Jamaica will have to overcome some serious barriers before being considered a powerhouse healthcare destination, however, as accessibility issues remain for individuals with disabilities, and healthcare standards are not up to par with those in the U.S. Foreign physicians who might come to practice and administer care at the facility also share some concerns, as standard malpractice protections for physicians in the U.S. likely will not carry over to work abroad. Physicians, a group notorious for demanding work schedules, might also be unable to participate in the frequent travel needed for GWest’s plan to be a success. As GWest’s international reach continues to grow, the facility will be open to local Jamaicans in need of quality healthcare services. —AA

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