Dental practitioners in the Caribbean have been encouraged to fully explore the dental tourism market as they seek to grow their practices.
Speaking on behalf of Health Minister, John Boyce, at the opening of the annual Caribbean Dental Programme’s (CDP) Convention on Tuesday, Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arthur Phillips, noted that the Ministry of Health was in receipt of a proposal from the CDP, outlining recommendations for changes to the health care structure in order to promote this health tourism thrust.
He submitted: “With the capital of skilled regional practitioners comparable to that of any developed country, along with the available technological resources at affordable costs, the Caribbean, with its sun, sea and sand, provides us an opportunity to sell a unique dental tourism product in the best vacation spots.”
He maintained that the continued education of dental practitioners remained paramount in this quest, and he therefore commended the Association for placing a high level of importance on further training and improving existing skills.
The Ministry of Health official asserted that penetrating the tourism market would not only result in competitive prices, but would also quell the debate on the differential in quality uttered by pundits.
“Ensuring that you keep pace in this global market will mean finding that optimal mix of an improved dental practice with more comprehensive care, a better patient experience, along with comparable technological advancements that are now propelling the evolution of the industry,” Dr. Phillips stated.
He hoped that the annual convention, which brings together professionals from the local, regional and international arenas, would continue its support of progressive dentistry and education programmes in order to improve and maintain a high standard of professionalism in the practice of dentistry in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean.