MEI Healthcare Inc., a leading provider of healthcare strategies and equipment solutions for medical facilities around the world, is partnering with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, the governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Global Health Partners, Ltd., to begin construction of The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean at Mount St. John Medical Centre in St. John, Antigua. Groundbreaking for the new $13.5 million (EC dollars) facility will take place Thursday, April 26.
“Our partnership will provide accessible, high-quality cancer care for a population that is underserved,” said Gordon Baltzer, CEO of MEI Healthcare Inc. Baltzer will be speaking at the groundbreaking. “Currently, patients need to be treated abroad, which is costly and incredibly difficult for patients and their families. As a result, many patients have gone without treatment.”
The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean will provide high-quality medical, radiation and surgical oncology services. The facility will include state-of-the-art technology capable of administering intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The centre will be used as the hub for consultation services being offered to the participating member countries.
“Nearly 1,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed each year in the OECS and, of those, approximately 400 will need radiotherapy at some time in their disease course,” said Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, The Hon. Baldwin Spencer in a prepared statement. “I recognize that currently there are no facilities in the Eastern Caribbean that are truly comprehensive and offer both surgery and radiation…(and) it’s important for us to develop the facilities necessary to provide support to patients who have cancer.”
The Hon. Arthur T. Porter, M.D., Chair of the Board of MEI and a key driver of this project, stated, “MEI insures that the Eastern Caribbean will have the technology platform to deliver modern day cancer therapy at a level commensurate with that of the USA, Canada or Europe.”
During a regional healthcare symposium in 2009, government officials expressed interest in developing a partnership with the private sector to equip a cancer center in Antigua with the latest oncology services and technical expertise. The “partnered care” model being used to create the facility is a cost-effective solution to bringing the latest technology to the region.
MEI provides business development, capital equipment funding strategies and growth consulting services to physicians, hospitals and healthcare systems worldwide.