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Medical tourism ripe for growth

Aspects of the medical tourism industry in Barbados are ripe for expansion, says Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

Noting that the Ministries of Health and Tourism were advocates of medical tourism, Stuart said Government considered the industry to be lucrative with several advantages for the international business sector.

The Prime Minister made the comments today at the opening of the International Business Week 2015 conference.

He said a 2012 study entitled An Overview of Barbados’ Medical Tourism Industry had identified a number of successful medical tourism facilities in Barbados, including the Barbados Fertility Centre.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

“Another related area ripe for investment is that of biotechnology, a rapidly emerging global industry,” said Stuart, while highlighting Lenstec Inc, a successful locally-based global manufacturer of intraocular lenses for cataract and refractive surgery.

“In 1995, this US-owned company opened its first manufacturing facility here. Now a 30,000 square foot plant, the company employs approximately 200 persons, several of whom were trained right here at the University of the West Indies, graduating with degrees in science and other disciplines. Lenstec is now one of our leading exporters, with Japan and China as primary markets,” said Stuart.

He said another niche that was suitable for expansion was medical schools, hailing the American University of Barbados as a success stories.

“It is an institution that is changing the thinking of future health care providers, all from Barbados,” he said.

“Let us accept and embrace the linkage of international business and tourism; international business and health; international business and education; international business and the cultural industries, and the list goes on for the areas in which we have a competitive advantage. The forward and backward linkages are inextricable,” Stuart told the room of international business officials.

The theme of the two-day conference, at which participants will discuss a range of matters including health related issues is, The Changing Dynamics: Driving Innovation, Prosperity and Health.

Sector officials are also expected to share ideas while networking and discussing new opportunities for the sector.

Giving policymakers, facilitators, practitioners and all stakeholders credit for the success of the international business and financial services sector, Stuart told the conference participants that while they have been doing “a relatively commendable job so far”, they should keep striving for excellence.

3 Responses to Medical tourism ripe for growth

  1. Allyson Benn
    Allyson Benn October 9, 2015 at 7:27 am

    If you say anything and add “tourism” on it again, just for the sake of talking into microphones …

    You ppl really think this island’s actually thinking citizens aren’t catching on??? Every few months you coming up with sain else without completing the first one.

    First it was cruise tourism. Da model still failing us. It benefiting the cruise liners but it failing we.

    The it was religious tourism. Lewwe look at why that can’t work: only frigging religion wunna know is hypocrisy. Sorry, I mean Christianity.

    Then we got to sports tourism: … Athletes will never be taken seriously in Barbados by Barbados. Watch Akela blow up huge under a coach and scholarship in USA. *cough cough* football fiasco. *cough cough* Richard Sealy only shows up for equestrian related events when he can rub shoulders with rich white stable owners from the south of USA, on the front page of the newspapers.

    But now you wanna bring up medical tourism?? Bruh. Nah.

  2. Anson Sobers
    Anson Sobers October 9, 2015 at 8:58 am

    This headline doesn’t merit reading. Healthcare in Barbados has dwindled so low that not even the citizens and residents of Barbados can get proper treatment and you want to grow medical tourism?

    Do you invite guests into a nasty house and say lets have a drink?

  3. Ricardo Sharon
    Ricardo Sharon October 9, 2015 at 10:26 am

    What a bunch of jokers you can even look after your one people the outside world has people that have brain you lot has none


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