Today we have a pleasure to feature an interview with Anna Hosford, Clinic Director of Barbados Fertility Centre.
We are so pleased to feature a clinic from outside of Europe. Why should people consider Barbados Fertility Centre over European IVF clinics?
Thank you! We are thrilled to be featured! Barbados is an English-speaking country with an internationally trained medical team. Each patient is treated like our very special guest, is given a unique fertility treatment protocol tailored just to them and we make every effort to keep them informed every step of the way on their fertility journey. Couples can also enjoy a constant 28-degree temperature all year round, which makes undergoing IVF and combining a two week holiday a relaxing experience! Barbados is a memorable place to visit and so many of our patients return with their families as it holds such a special place in their hearts, especially when we’ve had many patients successfully cycle here.
What makes Barbados Fertility Clinic special compared to clinics in the USA for example?
Couples from the USA are attracted by our close geographical location with daily direct flights the majority from US cities. We are also JCI accredited and listed in their elite group of clinics, which is essential for US patients. JCI holds clinics up to an overall high standard plus it gives them a sense of success rates. In the US, they are 42%. At BFC, they are 67%.
Finally, the cost is a major factor for USA patients. A full IVF cycle with us is $6000 USD. In some US cities, one cycle alone can be as much as $40,000 USD! USA patients can have world-class treatment plus a vacation for $10,000 in Barbados so that’s a tremendous difference!
What particular treatments do you excel at?
We strive to excel in every treatment to best serve our patients, but we do run an excellent in-house donor egg programme for women of Afro-Caribbean descent. There are long waiting lists across Europe and for women in this ethnic group in the United States. Their only option would be to use a donor agency, which may cost another $30,000 USD on top of IVF costs. Our donors are recruited locally and there are no fees charged to use our donor bank. We see a tremendous 75% success rate on our donor programme.
We also have an on-site spa, The Life Wellness Centre, so that we treat patients both medically and holistically, ensuring that they are at their optimum of relaxation to undergo IVF treatment with us!
What assurances can you provide to people who travel to your clinic – how will they be looked after whilst away from home?
Our ethos at BFC is to ensure that each couple is treated as an individual from their very first contact with us. We want to make certain that every patient is confident in their decision to have cycle treatment with us. Once a treatment plan is agreed upon with the medical team, our patient liaison handles all non- medical aspects of their trip from booking flights, accommodation, transport, communications and holistic therapies. Patients are collected from the airport and taken to their hotel of choice. They are given a schedule of their medical appointments and given a local mobile phone so that we can keep in contact throughout with them throughout their stay in Barbados. Our patient liaison acts as concierge throughout their time with us, and we remain in contact even when the patients have gone home!
Can you tell us more about the egg donation program- specifically waiting lists and screening and where your donors come from?
We have no waiting lists. Patients needing a donor can join our programme immediately. Donors are recruited locally in Barbados and from neighboring Trinidad, so we can offer donor eggs for Afro-Caribbean and East Indian descent. Both donors and recipients undergo physiological counselling to understand the emotion associated with donation. Medically, the donors are screened with a series of blood tests and a vaginal ultrasound. There is also a blood test during the egg donor’s menses to assess hormone levels.
When is the best time to visit Barbados and what can patients do whilst they are there?
Barbados benefits from a constant climate all year round, and while we do observe the hurricane season from August – October, we are lucky in our geographical location that we are out of the island chain, so may only suffer tropical storms during those months.
Barbados is only 21 miles long by 14 miles wide, so it is easy to get around either on the local bus system or by hiring a car. The beauty of Barbados varies dramatically between the east coast, which is on the Atlantic and is a renowned surfing mecca. A day out in Bathsheba is well worth it for the rugged beauty and the cooling trade winds. The west coast in on the Caribbean Sea and swimming here is like getting in the bath! There are plenty of things to do such as organising a candlelit dinner for two on the beach, going on a fishing trip, or visiting our historic capital Bridgetown where you can visit one of the oldest synagogues in the western hemisphere. Barbados has been in constant occupation for over 300 years and there are many old plantation houses that are open to the public. Bridgetown has a historic port where the first settlers to the USA set sail from! The great thing about Barbados is that you can do as much or as little as you want, and wherever you go, you will be greeted with a traditional Bajan welcome. We love visitors!
If you wish to get in touch with the clinic directly, use the contact form in the Barbados Fertility Centre clinic profile.