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Next stop, medical tourism

Lisa King

Next stop, medical tourism

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When you walk into this office, the first impression is, “Wow, this décor is nice”.
In the serene waiting area you find a calming salt water aquarium, chairs outfitted with massagers, a flat-screen 3D television, computers for surfing the Internet, a variety of magazines for browsing and a coffee and refreshment area.   
This is no ordinary doctor’s office. It does not have the smell associated with clinics nor are the walls lined with medical posters and health charts. In fact, the walls are hand-painted with interesting designs.
It is inviting, relaxing and refreshing.
At the Caribbean Smile Makers and Aqua Medical office in Belleville the aim is to give the customers a pleasant experience from the time they enter the door. Doctors Vidya and Davindra Armogan are determined to deliver health care that is not only the best in Barbados but the best in the world.
Vidya said: “You don’t expect this when you walk inside. It is a different setting, especially for Barbados, and what we are trying to do is to make sure that the Barbadian public is exposed to the best of the best and do not have to go to North America or England – because it is here.”
The business has two branches.  
Davindra emphasized the importance of the clinic to medical tourism, explaining that all the equipment and procedures at his local clinic are identical to those at his two clinics in Canada.
“Why should you suffer because you are living Barbados when we can bring the best to you? It cuts down on the foreign exchange going out and raises the amount that is coming in,” Davindra said.
In addition to top-quality care, the cost was also highlighted.
“If you go to some of the top-notch clinics, [you discover] the pricing is less in the Caribbean. Because of the market that we have there are people who would come to the Caribbean and say, ‘I can get the procedure and get a free vacation out of it’. At the end of the day we are a tropical paradise.
We need to recognize that and market it,” said Davindra.
For this reason, the brothers have ensured that they purchase and use the best in technology and always try to do what is current – “That includes the use of software systems to the braces we use,” Vidya said.  
The service is exceptional. At the front desk you meet courteous staff and then you sign in using a touch-screen computerized photo ID login, which is linked to a pager system that allows clients to move around the office and be paged when the doctor is ready. “This is especially nice for the children, who can explore the cave games in the basement or use the PlayStation in the other games area . . . . We do not want to be shouting across the office,” Vidya said.
The doctors recently purchased a new state-of-the-art X-ray machine, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean – the Planmeca Promax Med. Rather than producing film, the machine produces digital pictures, a more efficient and faster approach.
In addition, the patient’s radiation dosage is significantly less. The technology allows the image to be darkened or lightened to bring out more information or softened to focus on certain regions.

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