Medical tourism in the Bahamas is now official, according to reports in recent business news articles.
The possible advantages to the Bahamian economy are welcomed. The immediate advantages to medical tourism companies here are: a tax-free income, and a more relaxed regulatory environment.
According to a recent news report, “the costly and onerous regulatory requirement in the company’s home country, related to a medicine or treatment, …can be avoided by setting up shop in the Bahamas.” (Dr. David Allen Jr, The Tribune, August 11, 2010)
There is nothing inherently wrong with a tax-free income which enhances profit. Avoiding “costly and onerous regulatory requirements” refers to other issues, like regulatory requirements abroad making it more expensive for the healthcare provider to operate. Arguably, however, these requirements ensure better standards of care for the patient. Effective regulation and medical protocols not only protect the patient’s life, but they also protect the doctor from professional negligence charges.
One likes to believe that the primary objective of a healthcare company is quality service and positive patient outcomes. After all, providers are in the business of improving your health. But a company locating in the Bahamas intends to enhance the profit aspect of the business, because regulatory environment requirements are less, and the track record shows that such requirements as may exist here are not enforced.