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Colina initiative to aid medical tourism

Colina Insurance has signed a landmark knowledge and technology agreement with University of Miami that will not only provide new opportunities and enhance the expertise of Bahamian physicians, but will also increase medical tourism to the Bahamas.

At a press conference yesterday at the British Colonial Hilton, Colina Insurance signed an Affiliation Agreement with the International Medicine Institute (IMI) of the University of Miami, in a bid to enhance the exchange of knowledge and technologies between IMI and Bahamian physicians.

The first of its kind for the Bahamas and the region, executive vice-chairman of Colina Insurance, Emanual Alexiou, said this initiative and partnership recognises knowledge transfer as one of the most important steps in the evolution of medicine and healthcare.


"Through funding through Colina, Bahamian health care providers and administrators will have a direct advanced education and training program, and a cutting edge research link which will bring new opportunities to the Bahamas" said Mr Alexiou.

He added: "Our affiliation with this world-class teaching and research institution will enable local providers to be exposed to cutting edge trends that will enable them to better serve the community". According to Dr Jose Quesada, director of finance and operations for IMI, the University of Miami is one of the leading organisations in clinical and basic science research in the US, owning three hospitals with 1,200 physicians, 400 of which are ranked to be the best in various fields in the US.

Dr Quesada said some of the early benefits that the partnership will bring the Bahamas is the introduction of telehealth for consultations, referrals and health education to the private medical sector. Annual conferences will be held in Nassau to bring the latest knowledge in medical care to physicians and nurses in the Bahamas, and another benefit will be the Bahamas' designation as an approved site for Corevalve replacement surgery, which has medical tourism implications.

"We are also going to receive some of the Bahamian physicians, who can travel to Miami for up to six months' training with our doctors, and we will be able to take them up-to-date with the latest technologies" said Dr Quesada.

As Colina Insurance is one of the largest health care providers for the Bahamas, Mr Alexiou said it was their duty to help Bahamians in the long-run by bringing new technologies, research and expertise to the local medical community.

Source The Tribune