The term ‘medical tourism’ is now being widely used for people who travel to another country for medical treatment. Barbados has long been established as a tourist destination, but now is also on the map for providing exceptional medical treatment as well, all thanks to Barbados Fertility Centre.
Since 2002, the medical team at Barbados Fertility Centre have been helping infertile couples from around the world achieve their dream of having a child. The population of Barbados is not big enough to warrant a full time infertility unit, however head clinician, Dr. Juliet Skinner (above with baby), saw the bigger picture and being Barbadian knew that her island home offered the peace and tranquillity that infertile couples from around the world needed when undergoing IVF treatment.
From the outset Dr. Skinner and her highly trained team aimed to provide world-class fertility treatment at a reasonable cost in a state of the art clinic. And that is exactly what they are doing; they have established themselves as a centre of excellence for fertility with success rates for pregnancy increasing year on year.
Their success rates surpass the national averages for both the USA and the UK. They have also been given the gold seal of approval by JCI International the US health accreditation body. This means that patients can rest assured of their high quality operating procedures and patient safety standards.
Dr. Skinner said, “The beauty of getting couples to travel to Barbados is that they are forced to unwind when they soak up the natural beauty of the island. Stress is a major factor in infertility and by taking that away our couples are at their optimum to receive treatment. We combine traditional medicine with a wholistic approach offering our couples massage, reflexology, acupuncture and sessions with a trained counsellor on the negative impact of fertility treatment.”
Barbados Fertility Centre sees patients coming from the neighbouring Caribbean islands, who previously had to travel to the US or Europe for treatment, this was costly for travel and treatment costs were high. With costs being prohibitive many couples in the Caribbean region were unable to ever fulfil their dream of having a family.
Now with treatment being readily available in Barbados, and costs being a third of the UK or US for a full IVF cycle, many more Caribbean couples can afford treatment. Barbados Fertility Centre is now expanding its operations with new offices opening in March 2009 in Trinidad and Antigua, meaning couples can start treatment in their home country and then only have to travel to Barbados if a full IVF cycle is required.
The centre also sees patients coming from the UK where waiting lists for IVF can be as long as three years decreasing a couples chance of success. Couples from the UK can fly to Barbados for a 2-week holiday, and undergo treatment for less that just treatment alone in the UK.
In today’s economic climate, couples from the US are now finding that they are under insured for such treatment or due to job losses may not have any medical cover at all, therefore these couples who may only be able to afford one shot at IVF treatment are giving themselves the best chance of success by travelling to Barbados for the treatment.
The state-of-the-art clinic at Seaston House comprises an on site laboratory, theatre, recovery room and consulting rooms and the clinic is using the latest cutting edge methods to help infertile couples.
One such technique is called ‘Vitrification’, which uses liquid nitrogen to fast freeze embryos. This technique is not available in the US and the first UK baby born from the technique was in July 2008. Barbados Fertility Centre has actually been using this method with great success since January 2007.
Further information about Barbados Fertility Centre can be found at: www.barbadosivf.org.