Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Andrews right for medical tourism

Published:Sunday | November 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue
The Andrews Memorial Hospital in St Andrew.

The privately operated Andrews Memorial Hospital has been targeted to become a centre of excellence offering first-world neurosurgeries, and the doctors driving that push are staking their reputations on its success.

The duo of business partners, investors, physicians Dr Kingsley Chin, chief executive of KIC ventures, Dr David Walcott - the 2011 Jamaica Rhodes Scholar - believe Andrews is the prefect fit for their dream of making Jamaica the place tourist visit for sun, sand and surgery.

"We are in the process of fundraising for a large outpatient centre of excellence, first-rate, avant-garde institution, first of its kind in Jamaica. So think Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic in Jamaica.

"We are pioneering game-changing disc-replacement surgeries, and this will be our showpiece promotion for our centre of excellence," Walcott told The Sunday Gleaner.

The overseas-based Chin and Walcott have wasted no time in setting up their outfit.

"What have we done so far? We have postponed erecting a building itself while still pursuing investors as we continue developing our track record. So far we have partnered with Andrews Hospital, investing in excess of US$1 million in equipment brought down from the United States.

"We have completely renovated the doctors' lounge at Andrews. We have local and international patients on whom surgeries have been done, and we are currently continuing to build out our pipeline in partnership with Andrews, so that when we do construct a brick and mortar centre of excellence, it would already have the patient load to substantiate and justify that rollout," said Walcott.

He argued that Andrews is perfect because of its geographical location and the facilities it already has in place.

"It also has some land and we are seeking to partner with them to erect the centre of excellence," added Walcott.

According to Walcott, the University Hospital of the West Indies was not selected because it is a teaching hospital, and international patients were unlikely to be attracted to a teaching facility.

"There is currently no medical centre of excellence in Jamaica. We are looking to build a large 80,000 square-foot facility with several surgical centres, surgical clinics and several imaging centres. The entire outfit of a health-care service institution with first-world specifications," he stated.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com