Monday, August 15, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Lyford Cay Hospital’s $25 million expansion is set to get underway next year.
Cardiologist Dr Dean Tseretopoulos is spearheading the development, which will be built adjacent to the existing Lyford Cay Hospital site in western New Providence. He is aiming to attract patients from abroad, with physicians providing highly specialized treatments that may not be available in the patients’ home countries.
“It will be larger than Doctors Hospital and medical tourism will be a central component. We need to maintain standards and quality and make people comfortable with coming from abroad.”
The 60,000 sq ft facility will include around 20 exam rooms, a CAT scan facility, an underground parking garage and an area dedicated to clinical research. Groundbreaking on the development, which is privately funded, is scheduled to take place in January 2012.
Dr Tseretopoulos is hoping to attract doctors from around the world to offer treatments at the site and is engaged in negotiations with major US providers to establish a link with hospitals there–a move he hopes will give confidence to patients coming from that country.
“There needs to be proper branding of the product,” he explains. “[Patients] might not be so interested in coming if it is just Lyford Cay, but they will come because we are the Mayo Clinic in The Bahamas or the Cleveland Clinic in The Bahamas. Branding is very important.”
The new Lyford Cay Hospital will also be seeking accreditation from the Joint Commission International, a US body that certifies hospitals meeting international standards and following US clinical guidelines.
According to the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) around 1.6 million Americans are expected to travel abroad for care in 2012. MTA studies also show that almost 83 per cent of patients making trips overseas bring a companion and almost 90 per cent of patients or their companions engage in tourist activities while they are abroad.
Dr Tseretopoulos, who has been planning the project for 10 years, agrees there is a large market that could prove very profitable for The Bahamas. “There is no question that medical tourism is of benefit,” he says. “It is to everybody’s benefit if we can improve the quality of care locally and it increases employment and revenues. Already this is becoming a big industry in other countries in the Caribbean.”