Young doctors' bold move:
Pioneering preventative private practice
(from left) Drs Garrett-Dijan Fairclough and Adrian FD Coore, the founders of HYC Medical (Photos: Karl Mclarty)

TWO young medical pioneers have ventured into an innovative private practice, HYC Medical (High Yield Clintegration), to revolutionise preventative health care.

The pandemic was an eye-opener for Drs Garrett-Dijan Fairclough and Adrian FD Coore, the founders of HYC Medical, when the pandemic's relentless grip on health-care systems revealed there was a need for more patient care that provides comprehensive education, advanced technology, and evidence-based approaches to prevent the surge of lifestyle diseases.

"Working in the emergency room, it's all trauma and acute illnesses. A lot of people came after having complications from COVID because their primary care was poor. Diabetes, hypertension weren't managed well; [they] weren't going to doctors or taking their medications, and in public health centres, it's overcrowded and quality care is compromised," Dr Fairclough explained to the Jamaica Observer in an interview.

"The pandemic really made me realise that they [patients] need more options in public and private settings, more options in terms of doctors and consultations, and solutions to health problems," he added.

The word "clintegration", in HYC Medical's name, is a fusion of the words clinical and integration. Dr Coore explained to the Sunday Observer that the name is derived from a focus on giving patients the highest yield of health care and services that are clinically integrated. Drs Fairclough and Coore have both been practising medicine for over seven years in public hospitals. Dr Fairclough has experience in emergency medicine, while Dr Coore has experience in internal medicine. Together, they advocate for preventative medicine after the pandemic revealed just how little people know about managing their health and steps to take to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases.

"I've been in many situations where I've said to somebody, 'You have hypertension and they are like no', and I say, 'You have high blood pressure and they're like, yes, and I'd say OK, are you taking your medication? and they are like no'. They say 'well, I went to the doctor, and he gave me one time, and I filled out the prescription, and when I finished it, I thought I was cured," Dr Fairclough revealed. He says comments like that are not usually uncommon.

Though eager to help more people, the journey to start their own practice took time. The doctors assert that medical school is not business school, and they had to also learn the business side of things. "We had to go through it ourselves, make our mistakes, and get advice from people. There was a programme called Rev Up with NCB and Sandra Glasgow that really helped us get a crash course on business. They helped," Dr Fairclough told the Sunday Finance. They secured funding through several loans to open their practice at 70 Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston. Less than a year after operating, HYC Medical acquired another medical facility in Portmore, which it has rebranded.

A typical medical facility operates in a more traditional face-to-face way, but HYC Medical has incorporated telehealth into their medical model to improve access to care, allowing patients to set an appointment online and conduct virtual consultations, videoconferencing, audio calls, and text messages, to eliminate the need to wait months to see specialists and electronic health records to allow for patient data to be collected and forwarded to specialists or health-care providers for review at a later time. HYC intends to use telehealth to offer corporate packages, where companies can contract health services instead of having their employees go to different health facilities, by incorporating a hybrid approach for either in-office or virtually. HYC Medical specialises in general medicine, gynaecology, dermatology, and surgery.

The bigger vision of this small practice is to integrate health practices into medical insurance. According to the doctors, millions are spent on secondary and tertiary care, and insurance pays out millions trying to fix complications and treat diseases, but not much is placed on prevention. HYC Medical is targeting insurance companies to see if they can collaborate to not only offer medical treatment when illnesses occur but to incorporate a health and wellness component. "How would you feel if a medical company targeted you and offered you a membership that included a gym membership, a dietician, and helped you with whatever mental stress you were having? How would you feel about that as a younger person?" Dr Fairclough asked. "What about somewhere where you can actually get insurance, where you can do prevention stuff like go to a vegan restaurant and your insurance covers that?

"Now you can't complain that eating healthy is too expensive, so what would be your excuse now? Dr Coore asked.

The doctors assert that health care is usually not prioritised locally, and people usually wait until they are too sick to visit. They acknowledged that short-term private care can be expensive, but the long-term gain is that you are getting personalised care. The doctors argued that spending more now can save you millions further down the line.

"If you follow the HYC medical way, you're less likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and all of these chronic illnesses that are preventable, and your risk of developing cancer becomes less as everything is intertwined," said Dr Coore.

HYC Medical's first office location at Suite 1, 70 Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston.
FAIRCLOUGH...the pandemic really made me realise that they [patients] need more options in public and private settings, more options in terms of doctors and consultations and solutions to health problems
COORE... if you follow the HYC Medical way, you're less likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, obesity, all of these chronic illnesses that are preventable and your risk for developing cancer becomes less
HYC Medical's second location in PortmoreHYC Medical's second location in Portmore .
BY CODIE-ANN BARRETT Senior business reporter

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