Tuesday, 17 July 2012

New project on medical tourism to Jamaica

Valorie Crooks, Rory Johnston and Jeremy Snyder (Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada) and Meghann Ormond (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) recently received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a project entitled 'Is It Really About Sun, Sand, and Stitches? Planning for Research on Jamaica's Developing Medical Tourism Industry'.

Project Abstract:

Medical tourism (MT) occurs when patients leave their home countries to intentionally access non-emergency medical care abroad. A number of criticisms exist regarding MT, including that it threatens patients' safety, continuity of care, and abilities to give informed consent. This Planning Grant proposes activities in Jamaica to lay the foundation for an Operating Grant. We focus on Jamaica because it is actively pursuing MT development. The Operating Grant will explore if and how MT stakeholders in specific countries in the Caribbean region assess the transferability of policy and planning initiatives from other countries prior to acting on them. Assessing transferability is important with trade policies that have direct ties to population health, as is the case with MT. Working with Jamaican collaborators from various sectors, we will undertake onsite research development activities in Oct/12 that will include holding meetings with MT stakeholders and touring public and private health care facilities. In undertaking these activities we will create a network of collaborators and knowledge end users to enable an integrated knowledge translation approach to the Operating Grant being developed. MT development in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean holds important implications for Canada. Canadian patients are traveling to the Caribbean for private medical care, Canadian companies are investing in the MT sector in the region, and Canada is a signatory to global declarations that work to ensure health globally. Our proposed activities are also consistent with CIHR's global health goals. This Planning Grant is premised on the exchange of knowledge and ideas across sectors through engagement with MT stakeholders, including our collaborators, in Jamaica. In addition to developing an Operating Grant, we will write an article for Globalization & Health and prepare a short report. These outputs will be circulated widely through our own and our collaborators' networks.

Recent news on medical tourism to Jamaica:
- 'Jamaica to promote health and wellness tourism' - 13 July 2012 (http://positivetourism.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2622:jamaica-to-promote-health-and-wellness-tourism&catid=81:health-tourism&Itemid=457)
- 'Health tourism critical to country's development - Dr Ferguson' - 12 July 2012 (http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/122-parliament/31214-health-tourism-critical-to-countrys-development-dr-ferguson)
- 'JA's health care in good hands' - 7 May 2012 (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/JA-s-health-care-in-good-hands_11410345)
- 'Negril to get new US$200 million hospital' - 25 April 2012 (http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120425/lead/lead7.html)
- 'Jamaica posed to benefit from US$35b health tourism industry - government seeking to develop plan to tap into market' - 22 April 2012 (http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120422/lead/lead2.html)
- 'MoBay: Potential health tourism centre' - 14 September 2009 (http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090914/news/news1.html

Official reports and presentations related to medical and health tourism to Jamaica:
- CEDA Report on Health and Wellness Tourism - November 2008 (http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/files/10strategyserieshwfinalcbbnexport.pdf)
- Commonwealth Secretariat's 'Jamaica medical tourism development plan' - November 2010 (http://www.thecommonwealth.org/Shared_ASP_Files/GFSR.asp?NodeID=230584&AttributeName=File)
- East, J. 'Jamaica as a health tourism destination: Pipe dream or reality?' - (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CB0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.medicalassnjamaica.com%2Fpresentations%2FJamaica%2520as%2520a%2520Health%2520Tourism%2520Destination%2520-%2520Pipe%2520Dream%2520or%2520Opportunity.ppt&ei=ckeOUKq5JoWp0QWCu4HwAQ&usg=AFQjCNEm7sKFpk-zpJQMMeEHNyv3wzUicw&sig2=lkHhsgKujXsffdMIvQHNhQ)
- Girard, D. 'Overview of the Caribbean Health and Wellness Tourism Sector' 
- Ministry of Health Jamaica - 'National Health Strategy 2006-2015 and Strategic Plan 2006-2010' - October 2005 (http://www2.paho.org/hq/dmdocuments/2010/National_Health_Policies-Jamaica_2006-2015.pdf.pdf)
- Ministry of Tourism and Sport Jamaica - 'Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development' - September 2002 (http://www.jtbonline.org/tourism_jamaica/Major%20Tourism%20Laws/Tourism%20Master%20Plan%20Full.pdf)
- Tourism Taskforce - 'Vision 2030 - Tourism Sector Plan 2009-2030' - November 2009 (http://www.vision2030.gov.jm/Portals/0/Sector_Plan/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20Vision%202030%20Jamaica%20-%20Final%20Draft%20Tourism%20Sector%20Plan%20_Sep%E2%80%A6.pdf)
- Vision 2030 (http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/upload/Jamaica/Jamaica_Vision_2030_Chapter_3.pdf)
- WHO - 'Jamaica: Country Cooperation Strategy 2010-2015' - November 2010 (http://www.who.int/countryfocus/cooperation_strategy/jamaicaccs2010.pdf)

Academic work published to date on medical tourism to Jamaica and the West Indies:
Chambers, D. and McIntosh, B. (2008) 'Using Authenticity to achieve competitive advantage in medical tourism in the English speaking Caribbean', Third World Quarterly, 29(5), 915-933.
- Ramirez de Arellano, A.B. (2011) 'Medical tourism in the Caribbean', Signs, 36(2), 289-297.
- Pearcy, D., Gorodnia, D., & Lester, J. (2012) 'Using the resource-based view to explore the Jamaican health tourism sector as a service: a preliminary examination', Journal of Business Case Studies, 8, 325-334.