Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 4th 2013 Contents A23
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Government has identified the
health tourism sector as a niche for
potential growth and is implement-
ing strategies for promoting and
developing products and services.
Given its close proximity to the US,
the potential for ROI in a health
tourism industry in T&T is certain,
with an estimated 40 million US
residents lacking medical insur-
To capitalise on this market, a plan
is being develop to expand the exist-
ing market and promote medical
tourism. Currently, T&T only attracts
patients and visitors from neigh-
bouring Caribbean territories. But
foreign investors should remember
it s a three-hour flight from Miami
and a 4 1/2-hour flight from New
York. Government s plan is to make
the country a prime destination for
US medical tourists and investors.
Under the project Strengthening
the Competitiveness of Services in
T&T, CTA Economic & Export Ana-
lysts Ltd has prepared a Draft Strat-
egy for Medical Tourism. It is being
undertaken through funding by the
Commonwealth Secretariat on behalf
of the T&T Coalition of Services
According to the draft strategy,
there are numerous opportunities
for growing this unique segment of
the services sector. There is excess
capacity in T&T s health system.
The country s ten private hospitals
have 39,000 beds, with 31,000 being
used per year.
The overall objective of the strat-
egy is to increase the number of for-
eign patients visiting T&T by 6,500,
which would contribute an additional
US$37 million to services exports
and the economy as a whole after
three years and then grow at a rate
of 20 per cent per year thereafter.
T&T is known as the commercial
centre of the Caribbean and has
earned a reputation as an excellent
investment site for international
businesses. The country has a stable
economy and boasts modern infra-
structure and qualified people.
To build momentum for foreign
direct investment in health care in
T&T, several new developments and
facilities upgrades are under way.
Investors are now being sought for
leisure attractions on Trinidad s
northwest coast with the Chaguara-
mas Development Authority (CDA)
working to turn more than 14,000
acres into one of the most inviting
tourist destinations in the region.
The CDA is inviting investors to
design, build, finance and operate
these recreational facilities.
Under construction is a new,
state-of-the-art National Oncology
Centre, which will be a model for
health tourism in the Caribbean and
serve as the main treatment center
for cancer in the country. The new
oncology center, which will open in
November 2014, will offer world-
class cancer treatment and diagnostic
technologies such as the CyberKnife,
PET/CT and nuclear imaging, as
well as a full pharmacy service and
a state laboratory.
The Ministry of Health is devel-
oping a subspecialty cadre of doctors
to offer specialised services. Addi-
tional projects include development
of a new National Centre for Non-
Communicable Diseases, a construc-
tion upgrade at the Mt Hope
Women s Hospital to house outpa-
tient clinics and refurbished oper-
ating theaters, and improvements to
Port-of-Spain General Hospital and
Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex at Mt Hope.
At the third annual Health and
Wellness Expo in May this year in
Port-of-Spain, then Tourism Min-
ister Stephen Cadiz affirmed that
T&T will become a centre of medical
tourism over the next few years.
Cadiz reported that he and Health
Minister Dr Fuad Khan want to pro-
mote medical tourism not only for
elective surgeries but also in the area
"I think we are well-placed and
suited for that," Cadiz said.
Shena Ramdass was the fourth $100,000 winner of the bmobile You Get More Top Up Sweepstakes
Promotion. The St Augustine-based hairdresser was wearing a beautiful green and rust shalwa to collect her
prize from Executive Vice President, bmobile Services and Operations, Ronald Walcott. The bmobile promotion
makes it easy for customers to win $100,000 weekly and also gives them a shot at winning the grand prize of
$1,000,000 in December just by topping up $100 and more.
NEW YORK---The Nasdaq shut down
trading on one of its options markets
on Friday, the latest technical problem
to hit the exchange.
Nasdaq OMX said it halted trading at
10.36 am (1436 GMT) and announced
at 2.10 pm that it would shut down
options trading for the rest of the day.
Regular stock trading on the Nasdaq
Stock Exchange was not affected.
Nasdaq decided to halt the options
market after it saw a surge in orders,
which caused the system to stop accept-
ing orders and disseminating quotes,
according to a statement from Nasdaq,
The Nasdaq operates two other options
markets---BX Options and Philadelphia-
based PHLX. Those exchanges were not
affected by Friday s halt.
The exchange did not say when options
trading would resume. A stock option
gives the holder the right, but not the
obligation, to buy or sell a stock at a
fixed price in the future. (AP)
Health tourism---T&T's new growth sector
Nasdaq options market halted, closed for day
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