Health Support Services for Locals and Visitors – the Potential for Medical Tourism
Everyone, at some point in their life, is concerned about their health and the support they would receive if something critical happens to them. Some take it very seriously, others are more laid back and monitor how things progress. Whatever illness may come your way, a proper health support system must be in place to take care of EVERYONE. We live on an island where very few persons have medical insurance, and more than half rely on free services from health centers. The entire Caribbean has been plagued with the problem of insufficient nurses and doctors as well as not enough private medical facilities to deal with serious illness. The salaries for medical personnel are not among the high earners either and this may explain why our best nurses migrate to US hospitals.
Some Dominicans boast that while they live out of Dominica, their annual checkup and dental work is done in Dominica. We need to get to the point where a visitor’s ideal choice is to have medicals done here. Dominica has the potential for medical tourism, but if we want to see growth in that sector, much more needs to be done. Locals must respect all emergency vehicles and work with the authorities in that regard, all hospital equipment must be maintained to the highest degree, an alternate private service must be established for the days that the hospital is extremely busy or when any equipment breaks down. Medical tourism is a great possibility for Dominica, but I strongly believe that we need some type of “health reform” before we can fully tap this potential.