January 21st, 2012, 05:43 PM
My husband had a heart attack a few months ago and is doing great but... I was wondering what the procedure is a CSA when there is a medical emergency and also wondering what is available for medical care in Negril???
January 22nd, 2012, 12:24 PM
This is the one down side to travel in Jamaica IMO. There are doctors and nurses on call, but a major incident or injury would require transport to Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay. There is a clinic in Sav-la-mar (about 20 min from Negril) but it is minimal and not really intended for acute life threatening emergencies.
The tricky part is transport to the hospital in Montego Bay, because ambulance service is not anything like being at home in the US or Canada, and the drive to the hospital takes an hour +. A man I know who had a heart attack in negril had to go by taxi to Montego Bay.
Medical care in Jamaica is not the equal of being at home and is very limited in Negril. There is a project working toward a hospital of sorts in Negril (Rhodes Hall) to be called the Negril Regional Hospital and Wellness Center. It could be a huge improvement when completed, but it is not open yet (to my knowledge) and is trying to raise donations to further the project.
Having said that .... Here is what I recommend, and I am not a docter just an older guy who loves vacationing in Negril!
1) I always, always, always purchase insurance that includes Medical Evacuation back to Miami (or the closest suitable medical facility) in case there is a need. Getting evacuated for medical emergency is amazingly expensive and can easily end up costing $50,000 or more. This insurance makes good sense to me.
2) My family knows that if I (or anyone I love) needs medical attention while in Jamaica my choice is to get the person as quickly as possible to the MoBay Hope Medical Center. I have been traveling to Jamaica since around 1989 and my understanding it that currently this is the best medical option if you are in Negril, MoBay, or on the the north coast. Visit their website, call or email them for information, and if you feel the same as I do then I would recommend putting the phone numbers of Hope Medical in your cell phone when in Jamaica. You can visit the website at www.mobayhope.org
Keep in mind, that even with Hope as an option it is along ways from Negril and time is the enemy in the case of an acute medical emergency. I am looking forward to the opening of the new facility in Negril and hope it moves along as quickly as possible, but it is going to rely on some donations from outside Jamaica. I think that all of the resort companies in Negril would benefit from helping to move that along because as the traveling public ages (us baby boomers!) lack of quality medical care is going to become a more and more important factor in selecting a vacation destination.
Jamacia is still my favorite vacation destination, and I don't spend my days there worrying about the medical care, but it makes sense to understand the options and to have a plan in place. This is especially true if you have known medical conditions or risk factors to think about.
I hope this is helpful!
January 22nd, 2012, 05:33 PM
Did your husband have a stress test 6 to 8 weeks after his MI? Has his cardiologist given him the OK to travel? I doubt that Negril will have a cardiac care department like we are used to here. As cardiac nurse, I would want the assurance of negative stress test prior to the trip. Several years ago, I developed a detached retina a few months prior to our trip. I visited my retinal specialists a few days before leaving for peace of mind. The doctor did tell
me that if I developed any symptoms, I needed to get back to somewhere in the US as soon as I could. I was a
apprehensive on that trip but all was fine. Chances are you husband will be also.
January 22nd, 2012, 05:55 PM
As a follow up to my post above, and because I was curious, I did some research. There are currently no private
hospitals in the area but that will be changing over the next few years. They are currently seeking funding for a
private hospital that looks to be a wonderful asset to Negril, called the Negril International Hospital. Once it is
up and running, this will be great news for those of use who travel to Negril. Wonder if they'll need an
experienced cardiac nurse.......my husbands says he'll walk the beach saying ciiiiigaretttttssss.
January 23rd, 2012, 04:24 PM
Thanks so much for the information!! My husband has had a stress test and gets checked every few months. He is doing great and is good to go but after that experience I will always check what is available for medical care when we travel.