To facilitate access to and participation of best in class health care providers, the Fund has developed an integrative system forming the backbone of a comprehensive data bank of board-certified medical personnel licensed to practice in a variety of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This intelligent software provides the credentialing services necessary to vet physicians, dentists and other professional providers interested in working in the arena of health tourism. Our system, the International Medical Services Credentialing Portal®, has been implemented to standardize credentialing across the entire region. This insures the integrity of the cadre of medical professionals operating under the health tourism regime and the associated facilities. All will be measured against the widely accepted accreditation standard of the Joint Commission International (JCI). Additionally, the company maintains an initial database of 3,000 plus Caribbean medical professionals, hospitals, pharmacies and other specialists. These individuals and organizations are potential joint venture partners in their local service areas. Those interested in venturing with a foreign partner, must be credentialed under the system developed by Bambu with our technology partner and provide similar assurances to the validity of their qualifications and professional experiences as is required of their U.S. or other counterparts.
Using Jamaica as an example, the National Services Sector Strategy developed by the Jamaica Coalition of Services Industries (JCSI) has identified medical tourism and wellness tourism as priority sectors to become world class exports, capitalizing on Jamaica’s areas of strength and harnessing the opportunities derived from the increased global demand for these services. This resulted from a study funded in part by the Inter-American Development Bank and a separate study funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The net result was the Jamaican government creating a Health and Wellness Taskforce in 2010 to review the information and establish a comprehensive data driven road map. Their work confirmed the initial analysis; identified gaps and recommended strategic actions. Since that time, every level of government has worked in tandem to implement a legal regime that supports and protects investment in Jamaica and repatriation of profits to the United States. Jamaica has placed the full weight of its government on this effort and has empowered the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to encourage private development in the medical tourism space.
In the U.S. alone, the burgeoning demographic of outbound travelers for medical tourism in 2014 was just over 1 million. Rough estimates of the size of the industry today is between US$25 billion and US$40 billion. Trends show the industry growing between 15 and 25 percent annually; and this growth is expected to continue. Medical tourist spend on average $3,000-$5,000 per visit for medical services. If you combine these numbers with the growth of the senior population in America, more than 72 million by 2030, there is a tremendous opportunity to participate in a flourishing industry. This is further fueled by increased longevity. Life expectancy has been on an upward trajectory for over 100 years. As the baby boomer population continues to live longer, there will be more medical issues that arise and more individuals looking for smart ways to manage their financial resources.
Life expectancy has been on an upward trajectory for over 100 years. As the baby boomer population continues to live longer, there will be more medical issues that arise and more individuals looking for smart ways to manage their financial resources. A key ancillary issue, the rate of new construction beyond traditional senior living for this group of active adults has not kept pace. Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are an affluent and diverse group with a variety of housing interests and lifestyle needs. This has created new business opportunities in the Caribbean region and particularly on islands known for hospitality. In 2016, for example, legislation was passed to permit the implementation of timeshare investment in Jamaica. It has also been noted that Jamaica does not have independent senior living, assisted living or active adult communities similar to what can be found in the continental United States. St. John, U.S.V.I.; Jamaica; the Dominican Republic; Barbados; St. Lucia; Dominica and many other islands are ready to support the growth and development of these product offerings to attract investment.