BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – IT HAS BEEN interesting to process the national discussion on stem cell research and activities surrounding announcements related to Regenerative Medicine.
If you put aside the rhetoric, ethics, and political noise surrounding this press, this may be the most positive and significant development since the introduction of Citizenship by Investment.
I’m focusing now on what Dr. Harris stated in his June 29th release. “My Government’s entry into medical tourism, and regenerative medicine in particular, has been informed by consultations.”
Here are six (6) reasons to be in full support of this medical tourism initiative.
#6. Being at the forefront of science offers St. Kitts and Nevis an opportunity to innovate and pioneer life saving protocols and outcomes. From a humanitarian point of view, our ability to contribute to this body of science stands on its own merits as to the level of academia and professionalism that exists within the Federation.
#5. Smaller nations that lack natural resources such as oil, gas, and mining must remain competitive in global markets and services. This requires bold moves within the service sector, on the edge of innovation and global demand. Regenerative medicine, where ageing demographics among high net worth individuals exist, offers real potential to drive billions of dollars in revenue to first movers. Bold moves always engender some level of controversy. This was true for offshore financial services, economic citizenship, and now, regenerative therapies.
#4. Positioning toward medical tourism is of critical importance. Brand positions have a shelf life. Sugar, financial privacy, citizenship by investment, manufacturing (et. al) will ebb and flow, increase and decrease over time as sustainable streams of revenue. There must always be new brand positions developing. If you liken our economy to a family income, a cut in salary negatively impacts everyone. If our national revenue drivers are in decline or at risk, our nation is negatively impacted. Therefore, the timing of this announcement couldn’t be better. This decision is both progressive and timely.
#3. Brexit. There are tremendous pressures on global financial markets. Brexit is merely a symptom of stress within the EU that global financial markets are set for a major correction. Quantitative Easing, the introduction of new money into the money supply by central banks, increases risks and volatility that many experts fear will lead to global recession/depression. This threatens all Caribbean nations. A leading Regenerative Medicine sector/capacity within the Federation would be largely immune to such corrections, as wealth barons will always spend money on their health and vitality. The global elite rarely suffer during times of recession and depression.
#2. Regenerative Medicine, properly marketed, can extend to every sector of our economy from tourism, citizenship by investment, manufacturing, and education. This single brand position would be the tide that elevates all ships. Developing a national brand that supports detox, sports, obesity, and cancer treatment, and other forms of health and wellness, are ideal companions to Regenerative Medicine, and are perfectly aligned to opportunities within the private sector of St. Kitts and Nevis. A strong brand establishing St. Kitts and Nevis as a health destination will bolster Kitittian Hill, Christophe Harbour, and new resorts now under development.
#1. Since a decision appears to have been made to establish Regenerative Medicine Therapy as an anchor in medical tourism within SKN, we are all in this decision together. It stands to reason that regulatory and legal accommodations will have also been established that open the door to other local providers in this space, essential to competition and developing brand strength. Just as developers are needed to support a vibrant citizenship by investment program, so will the introduction of local regenerative medicine providers. If billions of dollars in potential revenue exists, policy that keeps a percentage of this new revenue and opportunity open to local entrepreneurs will surely represent a boon to the local economy. One can imagine all forms of health resorts, treatment facilities, and ancillary specialties developing that attract a steady stream of high net worth clients worldwide.
In conclusion, substantive reasons exist to support Prime Minister Harris in introducing Regenerative Medicine as a national brand position that includes full access to the private sector in developing health and wellness tourism within the Federation.
As for this author’s point of view, bravo for having the courage, insight and resolve to strengthen the Federation’s economic future. A bold, vital, and visionary move.