Jamaica to promote medical tourism

Jamaica’s trade and investment promotion arm Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will be hosting two business forums that promote Jamaica as a destination for medical tourism investments, business partnerships and dental tourism.

The Do Business Jamaica Forum on Medical Tourism will provide insight into the business opportunities within Jamaica’s medical tourism industry, which the Government of Jamaica has targeted as a key driver of economic growth.  The events follow a lecture held in Jamaica last year, and are part of JAMPRO’s strategy to promote investment into Jamaica’s growing Medical Tourism sector.

The Agency has identified medical tourism as an area with high potential for growth, as it has already attracted over $15 million euros in foreign investments through the Spanish Group, Hospiten, as well as developments such as G West in Montego Bay. Jamaica is also commonly used by members of the Diaspora to receive dental, diagnostic and non-invasive services, and provides low-cost healthcare alternatives for persons living in the United States.

JAMPRO’s President Diane Edwards said the organization has intensified its programme to target medical tourism investments due to the impact it would have on multiple sectors in the economy and its potential for wealth creation. The forums would provide the platform to reach markets that have many members of the Diaspora and a high number of travelers to Jamaica each year.

Edwards explained, “It is estimated by the OECD that 30-50 million medical tourists travel for services each year. Jamaica already has a successful tourism product and remarkable medical services, so for JAMPRO, a medical tourism industry is a natural progression for Jamaica to take. We are pushing for some off those travellers to come to Jamaica, have their medical services and still experience Jamaica. Those dollars will not only benefit medical practitioners, but other aspects of the tourist industry and overall economy such as resorts, tour operators and spas. Medical tourists are estimated to spend at least 10 times the average tourist plus are usually accompanied by a family member, which yields an additional spend.“

Dr. Jacqueline A. Watson, a member of Jamaica’s Diaspora, will be leading and making the keynote address at the forums. She is President and CEO of the Washington DC based healthcare management and strategy consulting firm, Health Concepts International LLC.

The Do Business Jamaica Forum on Medical Tourism is supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Canada through Compete Caribbean. JAMPRO is an agency of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

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