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Montego Bay welcomes multi-million dollar medical facility

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 | 8:29 AM    

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) -- The official opening of the Soe Htwe Medicare centre in Montego Bay, St James on Sunday, June 1 brings to three the number of private healthcare facilities to come on stream in the tourist resort town in as many weeks.

The two-storey medical facility consisting of medical offices, and a pharmacy, represents a US$2 million outlay from the Burmese family physicians Drs. Soe Naung, and Khine Naung.

According to Managing Director, Dr Naung, the centre represents a dream, which has been in the making for more than 10 years.  His dream, he said, has been to provide a new Medical Home Model concept developed, by Dr Larry Green, Director at the Robert Graham Centre for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington DC, in the United States.   

In accordance with Dr Green’s Medical Home Model, the Soe Htwe Medicare centre will provide a place where patients can take their concerns and receive a healing relationship with personal physicians, alongside the comprehensive integrated care that they need, Dr Soe Naung said.  

He explained that “the new model of modern medical home is supposed to be adaptable, based on the core values of family medicine. Firstly it’s a team approach and is congruent to the fixed aims of high quality healthcare that is safely, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient centred, offering patients an expected basket of services. Basically it is for health promotion and more.”

Dr Soe Naung, who is a Clinical Preceptor of the Family Medicine programme at the University of the West Indies (UWI), said the centre will also provide a teaching facility for pre-med to post graduate level medical students.

“We are (also) providing a teaching facility (here) and we are successful because we have a physician who is pursuing the doctorate degree in family medicine and five pre-medicine students who are now enrolling in medicine at UWI,” he informed.

The Soe Htwe Medicare centre is the only facility of its kind located in the heart of Montego Bay’s ‘hip strip’, within walking distance of eight tourist resorts. The husband and wife team has served the city of Montego Bay as family physicians, since their arrival from Burma in 1986. They served at the Cornwall Regional Hospital for 16 years before entering private practice.

Keynote speaker at the opening ceremony, Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson endorsed the investment, noting that it sets the tone for health and medical tourism.

“This is an over US$40 billion area of investment and we have seen a number of physicians who have taken the decision to invest a significant amount of money in medical centres,” Ferguson stated.

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