Dr. Roberta Corona (centre) talks with three-year-old Eliana Phipps (right), one of the babies who was born as a result of the services offered by the Barbados Fertility Clinic (BFC). Looking on are her grateful parents, Scott and Tisha Phipps. Six-month-old Arabela Phipps is in her mother’s arms.
Huge potential in medical tourism
There is tremendous potential for this country to capitalise on the medical tourism industry as a valuable source of earning foreign exchange.
This was one of the points stressed by Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, who delivered remarks at the 15th anniversary celebrations of the Barbados Fertility Clinic (BFC) on Wednesday night, at their headquarters at Seaton House, Hastings, Christ Church.
“Tourism is in a good place right now. We had a record year last year and…the first quarter of this year so far is actually showing some double digit growth over last year, so it looks like we would have a hat trick for three consecutive years for record tourism levels of visitor ship.”
However, the minister stated that in order to sustain these levels, this country must take advantage of the niches.
“But in order to sustain that, we need of course to attack the niches. So you hear us talking about the year in sports, sports tourism niches are important. You hear us talking about facilities coming on stream like the Wyndham Grand in Sam Lord’s and the Sandals Grande that would have conference facilities, because the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) niche is important.”
Likewise, the medical tourism and health care services is another niche that this island can utilise; and this fertility clinic, with their in vitro fertilisation (IVF) services, is just one example of an organisation that has recognised and made the most of this opportunity.
Sealy added, “And of course I want to encourage the team to continue to do it and to continue to be a shining example. It certainly is a desire of mine to see the medical tourism niche expanded upon and Juliet and Anna have demonstrated it – you can be a medical practitioner and an entrepreneur at the same time and for that matter, you can do so in a manner that earns foreign exchange for the country.”