Medical Tourism in The Bahamas: Frightening

Wednesday 01st, September 2010 / 10:48 Published by

Medical tourism is all the rage and the Bahamas wants a piece of the pie.

In his latest column, Bahamas pundit Larry Smith cautions:

“The Ministry of Tourism has identified three special markets that the Bahamas could profitably explore, but remains concerned about regulatory deficiencies and ethical issues. As [Tourism Minister Vincent] Vanderpool-Wallace is quick to point out, great care must be taken to protect the Bahamas’ reputation by not giving medical quackery a free ride.”

But is that even possible, given the lack enforcement of nearly every law in the country and the rampant corruption that exists in every part of the government?

Smith gives numerous examples of other failed medical ventures in The Bahamas that proved dangerous to patients.

Another problem is the lack of regulation and legislation.

Smith quotes a lawyer who worked on a  medical malpractice claim here in the Bahamas who told him that, “the regulatory requirements that enhance patient safety abroad either do not exist here, or are not enforced.”

“It would be wise to correct this as much as we can before the unfortunate glare of the international spotlight shines on the Bahamas, as a result of a systems failure injuring or causing the death of a medical tourist,” Smith quotes the lawyer as saying.

And, the pundit notes, even the limited regulatory system we do have lacks transparency.

“The effect of such a poor regulatory regime, critics say, is that the overall physical and financial impact of a medical misadventure, falls almost entirely on patients and their families. Professional insurance fees are passed on to customers, and it is very difficult and costly to pursue any claim in the courts. Most fair-minded people would say there is something terribly wrong with that picture.”

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3 Comments on “Medical Tourism in The Bahamas: Frightening

  • SurgeryOverseas.com

    I think the Bahamas has everything needed to be a great medical tourism destination. Superb hospitals, great doctors and a beautiful country! On top of this its proximity to the USA and Canada make it a great destination.

    Reply
  • I agree w/ the comments we in this country do not have the regulations/legislations required to reach such stanards.

    In most first world countries laws are enacted to regulate/govern the practices of health care facilities be it private or pulbic.
    Regulatory bodies are in place to ensure patient safety and quality of care are followed.
    In countries where it is either CMS,JCAHO,DNV or other there is a close relationship with the government,insurance agency,third party payers and the likes that affect/govern patient outcomes/care.
    In this country the possiblity of seeing & being treated by an ED Physican within three hours of arrival is unheard of, unless you have a gun shot wound(Hats of to my ED Physicians,they do the best they can).
    There must be processes and throughput in place to acheive this and many other facets of the healthcare system in order for us to EVER think about Medical Tourism.
    Oh I forgot, Medical malpractice, wrongful death,failure to rescue,wrong site,wrong side; what is that in this country………………and we want medical tourism.

    Reply
  • Even before we think about Medical Tourism in the Bahamas, if Bahamian government is really seriuos, then they should investigate their own health professional licencing boards members and executive for holding these positions. Some of these members have no worldwide recgonized professional qualifications to sit on these boards. Chairman and some members of recently established one of the very important licencing board in the Bahamas has no qualification to represent this profession and has unscrupolous degrees obtained from some Tibkatu campus.If this is the level of our readyness then god only knows what will happen to our medical tourism.

    Reply

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