By Denise Dennis
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Health tourism is poised for expansion as the government of Jamaica takes steps to engage the diaspora as the first market in the sector.
President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, said the country is developing a competitive advantage over other Caribbean countries, as focus is placed on diagnostic and dental services.
“We see opportunity for the health tourism industry taking off, having done research along with our international partners,” she noted.
Edwards said JAMPRO facilitated meetings between local medical professionals and their counterparts in Atlanta and Washington in the United States.
This, she indicated, is critical to forming relationships that will lead to expansion of the sector, particularly through word-of-mouth and recommendations.
“What was really amazing is that people in the diaspora did not realise how much is going on, even in the private healthcare market here. They didn’t realise the level of sophistication on our local medical scene, and so we have seen them now coming together and forming joint ventures between local doctors and their counterparts overseas,” she added.
Edwards said the health tourism scene is further boosted by the introduction of new medical procedures, such as stem cell treatment and plastic surgery, locally.
“We are doing a number of really interesting procedures (from which) the diaspora can benefit, and also tourists,” she said.
Photo: President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards. JIS file photo