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Volume Seven Winter-Spring 2012-2013 Numbers 1-2.
AN UNDEREXPLORED SERVICE IN THE CARIBBEAN: A CASE FOR REGIONAL INTEGRATION
THROUGH MEDICAL TOURISM
Elizabeth Ince and Roger Hosein
Department of Economics,
University of the West Indies,
St. Augustine, Trinidad
Published online: February 10, 2017
Medical tourism refers to the cross-border movement of persons for improving their health. It has created thriving global industry advantages accruing to the tourist, in the form of short waiting times and affordable prices, and to the medical tourism destination in the form of revenue. This article seeks to assess the scope for a regional integration strategy based on a medical tourism cluster in the Caribbean. To do this, a study of the global medical tourism industry is conducted which includes a detailed definition of medical tourism, study of the trends in the industry, including case studies, and analysis of some of the factors needed for success in the field. An analysis of medical tourism in the Caribbean region highlights existent medical tourism institutions, the strengths within the region, advantages from engagement in the industry, and obstacles to be addressed. Ultimately, the article makes some policy recommendations for regional collaboration in the development of a successful medical tourism cluster. These policy recommendations surround the pooling of the best resources from every part of the Caribbean and on all levels through investment, skill sharing, strategic marketing, and development of tourism packages to accompany the medical aspect of the industry.