Dr. Shiqiao Luo, Director of the Chinese medical team, as he recently presented a gift to Health Minister John Boyce.

Chinese willing to foster greater opportunities for Medical Tourism

Barbados should consider further developing its medical tourism niche, with aid from China.

This suggestion has been put forward by Dr. Shiqiao Luo, Director of the eight-member Chinese medical team that is currently operating at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, due to an agreement established between the Barbados government and the People’s Republic of China.

Acknowledging the areas of expertise from which the QEH has been able to benefit thus far, as a result of the work of the team, Dr. Luo suggested that there is potential to further deepen the cooperation between the two countries, by allowing Chinese medical experts to aid Barbados in developing itself as a medical tourism destination.

“If you look beyond the horizon, you can find greater potential [to develop] the cooperation between the two sides. From my point of view, I think we can turn... Barbados’ health care institution, the QEH, into a medical tourism destination, [and you can benefit from] our expertise, our equipment from China,” Dr. Luo recently commented.

Minister of Health John Boyce meanwhile noted that, “the question of developing medical tourism opportunities has been around for some time.”

He went further to point out that the Ministry of Health has had many visits from investors, who want to look at different areas in Barbados, “where there are opportunities for this medical tourism to roll out, and in terms of medical tourism successes, one can look at the success and growth of the Barbados Fertility Centre in Hastings Christ Church,” Boyce stated, noting that this is a good example to draw from.

Acknowledging that he is aware that investors will look for areas where they can make the greatest return, he however stressed that the area of medical tourism is something that continues to be supported by the Government of Barbados and the Ministry of Health, even though government’s primary remit, is to deliver health care first and foremost to Barbadians. (RSM)

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