Haiti - The accidental medical tourism destination

 

While others spend on promoting medical tourism, one hospital has fallen into it by accident.

The Holy Name Medical Centre in Haiti suddenly started attracting medical travel patients from Miami and Turks and Caicos last year.

A shocked Holy Name CEO Michael Maron explains, “I never thought in a million years that would ultimately occur. It is also one of the greatest compliments to have a hospital in the middle of nowhere and get a reputation, for people from abroad to come here for care.” Most are people from Haiti who moved overseas to find work.

The 200-bed facility has a $3 million operating budget. The same size operation anywhere in the U.S. would be at least $300 million, says Maron. The medical expertise is largely pooled from volunteer teams around the USA who want experience in non-resource-heavy medical care, which helps to keep operational costs low.

Holy Name was approached by the ministry of health in Turks and Caicos to officially treat all insured Haitian natives at the Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Haiti.

It has had so many patients that the hospital has been able to upgrade from a 1900s-style, large wards only building, to include four private, air-conditioned rooms.

The hospital has a problem that most medical tourism destinations would envy. Maron worries, “This all seems to be good news but we must never become a destination to the detriment of those living locally. Our goal is to be self-sustaining.

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