Chair of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), Hon. Ronnie Skelton is keen on seeing the Territory reap possibilities from the medical tourism industry and he said that if his Party is elected this is one of the areas that will be fully explored.
Hon. Skelton while speaking on the PVIM Solution Time radio programme that was aired on 5 February said that medical tourism is a quick fix option that can be used to improve the Territory’s revenue base.
In presenting the idea, Hon. Skelton said: “I feel that that is the quick way to go. It’s a simple mathematical formula. If we can get our healthcare facilities – both private and public up, then the amount of monies that have to be given to the Health Services Authority or the NHI could be greatly reduced or could remain at the same level for a longer period of time.”
He explained that medical tourism means that procedures that can net the hospital or any private provider $15,000 or 20,000 a procedure that will be carried out. “This is significant money if you get hundreds of patients and based on the initiatives we were taking there were initiatives to bring,” the PVIM Chair noted.
As an example Hon. Skelton spoke about a Kidney Transplant center which he explained could be hosted at the Dr. Smith Hospital. “If that happens it means that we can get kidney transplants for our people here – the 50 plus people who are eligible for a kidney transplant and we can also target the Caribbean and other places.”
“It (medical tourism) would bring a level of expertise on the island, cardiology – upscale cardiologists will be here that all the procedures that people go overseas for now as it relates to`heart conditions or cardiovascular diseases can be easily looked at here at same level and that would help our people to really be at home with their families and at the same time it becomes a revenue stream for the country both directly and indirectly,” he pointed out.