“You’ve chosen the best country in the world to have this medical conference,” stated Dr. the Honorable D. Orlando Smith, Premier and Minister for Finance of the Virgin Islands, in his opening remarks at the first The Atlantic Clinic (TAC) conference, which was held at the British Virgin Islands International Arbitration Centre (BVIIAC).
50 doctors travelled to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) from various parts of the United States to attend the 2-day conference, from May 1st - 2nd. The main topic of discussion focused on the growing trend of medical tourism, not just on a global level, but also specifically in the BVI.“The primary mission of The Atlantic Clinic is to provide high quality, value based specialty care via medical tourism,” stated Dr. David Vincent, MD, FACS,who with his team, fully support this cost effective healthcare program alongside other members of the BVI Government, including the Honorable Premier Dr. D Orlando Smith; Deputy Premier, Dr. Kedrick Pickering; Minister of Health, Hon. Ronnie Skelton and other colleagues.
The supporting TAC team, Dr. David Vincent and his wife Mrs. Lisa Vincent, BS, RN; Dr. Michael Fabrizio, MD, FACS and his wife Mrs. Marilyn Fabrizio, BS, RN, engaged in a number of presentations as they shared the vision and goals for TAC and the BVI medical tourism field.
With the development of medical tourism, The Atlantic Clinic is aiming to improve screening opportunities, offer primary treatments, such as radiation and surgery, and offer a variety of treatment therapies in the BVI.
In a virtual presentation given by Dr. Neil Shore, MD, FACS, primary reasons were shared as to why medical tourism would create a number of medical research opportunities in the BVI and Caribbean as a whole.
The Afro-Caribbean Oncologic High Risk Profile is extreme and the limited access of approved diagnostics/therapeutics and educational opportunities are areas that need to be developed. In essence, this will create a true center of excellence in the BVI by relative training of its citizens. This area of development will however require sponsorship and grant support for services such as Genetic Testing/Assays/Bio marks.
As a part of the development of the medical tourism plan, BVI nurses would require a series of special training. Mrs. Vincent and Mrs. Fabrizio commented that nurses in the BVI are indeed well trained in many areas, but would require additional training in specialty cases such as Neurosurgery and Urology. The nurses of the Atlantic Clinic expressed their readiness in beginning these training sessions and also shared that the BVI nurses have shown great interest in learning. This will raise the standards of medical care throughout the BVIHSA.
Mrs. Vincent and Fabrizio also shared the process of TAC’s program.
The patient decides whether or not they want to participate in the travel program; if they agree, they will then be referred to a US correspondent who then liaises with medical personnel within BVIHSA (Peebles Hospital). Travel logistics including passports, flights and accommodations are then taken care of and patients will be educated on their travel arrangements - a true “concierge experience.”
TAC and the BVI Health Services Authority have already conducted three successful clinics in the BVI.
With high expectation for the success of this program, accreditation plays a key role in any further progress made. The BVIHSA has chosen the DNV (Det Norske Veritas – a hospital accreditation service recognized by Medicare), as it is rapidly becoming the top choice of accreditation across the US. The DNV assessment was done at the Peebles Hospital in January 2017 with a detailed Gap Analysis.
Annual visits to the hospital will be made each year and an accreditation readiness team has been set in place to oversee the process.
It was also noted that an MCN healthcare package was purchased by the BVIHSA as the new policy management software solution.
The successful integration of The Atlantic Clinic program into the BVI Medical Tourism field will generate a wide range of benefits.
Dr. June Samuel, MBBS, DM – Chief Medical Officer ofPeebles Hospital – listed a number of these benefits in her presentation; trained research and clinical personnel will be gained, creating careers while boosting the economy for all residents and citizens. Regional access to care for citizens and the surrounding environment will also be achieved by creating a centre of excellence and will create educational awareness in prevention and wellness,as well as long term-cost savings effects.
Presently, a new facility is being built in Virgin Gorda to better meet the medical needs on the island; with a new ambulatory services area on the 5th floor of Peebles Hospital by the end of the year; outpatient specialty services, and the development of the 6th floor Medical Tourism Suitesto house additional facilities.
CEO of Peebles Hospital,Mrs. Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, presented a brief virtual tour of the facility; an official tour of the Hospital was also givenin closing of day 2 of the conference, allowing the doctors to personally experience the BVI’s new state or the art medical facility.
A cocktail reception was later held at the Peter Island Resort & Spa where the team of doctors has been enjoying their stay in the British Virgin Islands.
The Atlantic Clinic (TAC) is a multi-specialty healthcare network that is comprised of a team of well-respected surgeons and physicians who are highly trained and board-certified; specialty nursing is also a beneficial part of this great team. The primary focus is on the clinical excellence, best practices and outcomes of management in travel medicine. TAC is currently based in the BVI’s where their focus is also to advance the standard of care in countries like the BVI and others outside of the United States.