Efforts to see the commencement of the Territory’s medical tourism industry is continuing with the new administration which in its first budget announced that money has been earmarked to impart momentum to the plans for medical tourism.
As early as 2010 medical tourism was touted by previous governments as one of the necessary areas for economic diversification. This notion has been subscribed to by the new Premier Andrew Fahie’s government who noted on Tuesday that the funding will be available for the furtherance of the process which is in motion.
In his budget address Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Fahie said: “To capitalize on medical tourism, $2,500,000 has been allocated to this venture.” “This essential investment is critical to ensuring that the BVI Health Services Authority is able to collect sufficient revenue to meet all of its obligations, thereby removing the need for the $42,000,000 annual subvention through the National Health Insurance (NHI) Programme,” the Premier explained.
In September 2018 former Premier Hon. D. Orlando Smith told reporters that Government was still pursuing the medical tourism opportunity. “We have already had experiences in certain areas of that. We have had several surgeries of a unique nature which have not been able to carry on in the BVI as surgeons have brought their patients here to have the operations,” Dr. Smith said. Peebles Hospital was designed with medical tourism in mind and Hon. Smith confirmed that the plan still included the related facility. However, it was noted previously that the hospital needed to be accredited.