Canadian University team wants your thoughts on Medical Tourism

Simon Fraser University research team coming to Barbados

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I am part of a research team from Simon Fraser University, near Vancouver, Canada, that is researching medical tourism – that is, international travel with the intention of receiving medical care. As you may know, international patients, including Canadians, are traveling to Barbados to engage in medical tourism. Many questions are raised by this process, including what steps Barbados has taken to encourage and regulate this industry, how this industry has developed in Barbados, what effects this industry is having in Barbados, how many Canadians are traveling to Barbados and for what procedures, and whether Canadians are investing in the medical tourism industry in Barbados.

To address these questions, my colleagues Valorie Crooks, Rory Johnston, Leigh Turner and I will be visiting Barbados from April 26 – May 2, 2011 to conduct interviews with ‘medical tourism stakeholders’. We would like to invite you to participate in an interview during our time there in order to better understand the scope and effects of medical tourism in Barbados and the role of Canadians in this industry. The interview can be conducted in the location of your choice and is expected to last 1 ½ hours. With your permission it will be digitally recorded. To recognize your valuable contribution to knowledge, a $50 Canadian honorarium will be provided upon completion of the interview.

If you are interested in meeting with us and participating in the interview, please let me know when during April 26 – May 2 you would be available. If you decide to participate in an interview I will send you more details, including an overview of your rights as a participant in this research study.

If you know of any others who you think should be interviewed about medical tourism in Barbados, please feel free to share this email with them or to pass along their contact information with their permission.

Jeremy Snyder

— Assistant Professor
Faculty of Health Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Blusson Hall 10516
8888 University Drive
Burnaby BC V5A 1S6 CANADA
tel: 778-782-3258



Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

13 responses to “Canadian University team wants your thoughts on Medical Tourism

  1. bring your naive money and good intentions

    Simon Fraser University needs to do a lot more homework before heading into an ambush.

    Find a country that needs and respects you and your efforts first.

  2. BFP

    Hello “bring your naive money…”

    Question: Is the Barbados government in any way subsidizing this study by the university? Are they providing accommodations in a government owned hotel? I see that this team and the lead researcher do many studies and they take on the pharma industry occasionally too so they probably wouldn’t want their independence tainted by accepting any assistance from the countries they study. But the political elites have a way of sliding corruption into the mix and if this university team doan watch out! – before they know it they will be sucking on the G’mnt teet IMHO.

  3. One who knows

    The SFU people already arranged to meet with government representatives. Don’t you worry the plans to fete and tour already been made. Mount Gay ‘special’ tour, boat ride an rum punch, dinner at the Hilton. Doan worry! It’s all looked after! LOL

  4. WTF!

    Canadians are opting to come to Barbados for medical procedures?

  5. Politically Tired

    WTF! I agree with you, we can’t look after our own though I suppose we don’t have the money for ‘private’ medical care, my cousin spent 36 hours in A & E after a major stroke, you think he’s OK? should have been operated on real quick as he had a big bleed, disgusting care.

  6. BGI

    I am curious, maybe I didn’t understand this posting. Are the research team looking for Canadians who have come for medical treatment, or are they looking for Barbadians who provide the service, or just for anybody looking to kill 1.5 hours in an afternoon and have a chat?

  7. flawed mission

    “or just for anybody looking to kill 1.5 hours in an afternoon and have a chat?”

    sort of like that but in a warm climate, a shot of rum and a sun chair with no real accountability.

  8. Grabbler

    Seems to me that this study should be done in Canada with Canadians. Bajans beware they want to pick ya brains and steal the way how to. Ya know we Bajans like to spill we guts. EVERYTHING NOWADAYS IS COMPETITION ,THEY WANT TO DIG AT OUR OFFSHORE INDUSTRY.

    Beware, in whose interest are they acting FIRST!!
    Is it our interest,will it benefit Barbados?

  9. Still cold up there, any excuse to come to Barbados will do.

  10. Jeremy Snyder

    Dear Barbados Free Press,

    We noticed that several of your readers have questions about our research project. Our project is funded by Canada’s main funding body for medical research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. We are not receiving any finding from the Barbados government or any company, hospital, business, or other organization in Barbados. Nor have we received funds from any member of the international medical tourism industry.

    We are very serious about maintaining the independence of our research. We are visiting Barbados because we study medical tourism. We have read reports that some Canadians obtain medical care in Barbados, and there seems to be some interest in attracting international patients to Barbados. We are interested in hearing from a diverse range of voices and perspectives. As such, we hope to speak with individuals involved in developing the medical tourism industry in Barbados during our upcoming trip there. We are also interested in speaking to individuals who are critical of efforts to attract international patients to hospitals and clinics in Barbados.

    Whatever we find during our upcoming research development trip to Barbados, we aim to develop a fair, honest, and accurate account of what we learn about medical tourism on the island. If any of your readers would like to learn more about the kind of research we do, please feel welcome to visit our research website:

    Jeremy Snyder, Valorie Crooks, Rory Johnston, and Leigh Turner

  11. J. Payne

    Speaking of Canada-Barbados and the medical profession. What is the story with “Canadian Medical Network (CMN)”? It is hosted on a Barbados domain:

    Personally, I think if Barbados and Canada started cooperating on healthcare then great. As two countries with public owned healthcare I feel both governments could possibly use their joint purchasing-power to purchase drugs together in bulk (and for less). As two countries they could negotiate cheaper prices on the international market. The more countries which join-in the better. They can request lower costs due to scale. Seriously, if all of the Caribbean and Canada purchased drugs together what would the global pharma companies say? No? Global medical companies are merging to streamline costs. For countries that have national healthcare they too should be considering a global healthcare network of like-minded government. I would say (on a 5 year trial) Canadians that live in Barbados could get their medical treatments done in Barbados (if they want), and be covered by Canadian healthcare. In exchange, if there is an advanced medical treatment which a Barbadians can’t have done in Barbados, then Canada allow those Barbadians to goto Canada for treatment. Would that be fair trade off? Essentially Canadian and Barbadians healthcare would be like the same medical network of hospitals.

  12. watcher

    @J Payne

    Health care in Canada is organized and run on a provincial basis. In the biggest province it is called OHIP (Ontario). All residents of Ontario who are 65 or older get free prescription drugs and all residents of Ontario get free hospital services. If you are in Barbados for an extended period of time you can get a “holiday” prescription that will cover your meds while away. OHIP already covers most medical situations while Ontario residents are away by way of reimbursement based on what the charges would be in Ontario. You are covered for all of these costs so long as you are not away longer than 6 months per year. Canada is a country that looks pretty big but in reality it is 30 miles wide and 3000 miles long. Simon Fraser is almost as far from Barbados as India is where there are all kinds of inexpesnive clincs for medical procedures. The USA is also available to Canadians who want them, at a cost. Many people who travel to the USA and Barbados for that matter get Travel Health Insurance to cover the cost of local hosipitalization as well as medi-vac. Where do the big ups go when they have a serious medical problem?

    The whole cost of this study seems to be a boon doggle. I would suggest the first thing these folks do is go down to QEH and check out the facilities and the wait times in emergency. But then again, it was not tht long ago that Barbados was in the thought process of becoming a province of Canada….that would get us all free medical and be part of one of the finest medical systems in the world. Maybe that is under way again.

    I am all for improving health care. Barbados has one of the world leading companies in the generic drug manufacturing business operating on the island. …Biovail located out towards Oistins. Prescription drugs in Barbados should be very welll priced.

  13. J. Payne

    @watcher. Medical in Barbados is majority subsidized by the Barbados government as well. Prescription medications for the most part have been free to Barbadians to until this month (April).
    The fees range from BDS$5 to BDS$12 (~US2.50 to US$6) for drugs costing less than BDS$40 (US$20), while for those medicines costing more than $40 patients, under the national drug scheme, are required to pay 30 per cent of the total drug costs… Before this month it was free…
    This should give you some idea of Barbados’ healthcare.