How Dominica is building the best healthcare infrastructure in the Caribbean

Dominica is achieving long standing goals of establishing a world class, disaster resistant and sustainable healthcare system.

The New Marigot Hospital, Dominica. (Image Credits: Google Images)
The New Marigot Hospital, Dominica. (Image Credits: Google Images)

The healthcare infrastructure and facilities being provided in Dominica have reached world class levels in recent time. These new developments, made off the back of infrastructure projects and new, world class equipment, have proven to be a great boon to the citizens of the island nation.

Dominica has always had the uphill task of dealing with natural calamities, which are a regular feature in the Caribbean. Yet, the nations farsighted focus on sustainable and disaster resistant medical infrastructure has now placed it head and shoulders above its peers.

This has allowed Dominica, through the policies of the incumbent government, to establish world class healthcare systems which are protected from the harsh weather conditions the nation often experiences.

Two shining examples of this are the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital, a brilliant diplomatic collaboration, and the new Marigot Hospital, which is funded by citizenship by investment programme and a pioneering effort from Dominican healthcare authorities.

The government has also focused on initiatives like the project given to the Montreal Management Consultants Development Ltd.

This has allowed Dominica to work with proven international firms which have the ability to guarantee world class infrastructure and facilities such as the Marigot Hospital which became operational on 11th September 2023.

As part of this infrastructural growth, Dominica has also established 12 healthcare centers across the island. The aim is to provide high quality healthcare facilities to every part of the island.

This allows citizens to have basic healthcare facilities close to their point of origin, cutting down on travel time and related issues and fatalities.

This also benefits the healthcare system and workers as they now have the ability to effectively handle medical emergencies with a wider reach. Such a vast and well set up medical system, which functions in sync, also allows the medical apparatus of Dominica to handle large scale medical emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic, with a greater degree of efficiency.

Another aspect of Dominica’s improved medical apparatus is the fact that it boasts of the best equipment, machinery and furnishings possible. This puts the facilities at par with some of the best medical systems in the world which is no mean feat considering the size of Dominica and its population.


The Marigot Hospital: Dominica’s medical Mecca

Dominica’s agreement with MMC Development Ltd, to the build the New Marigot Hospital, is a reflection of the success the two parties saw in their Housing Development Venture.

Through this venture, the government of Dominica has now established the New Marigot hospital that is far more accessible to the rural regions which surround it. This allows the Marigot Hospital to now become the center for high grade medical treatment and diagnosis for a large number of villages.

The Marigot Hospital serves the health needs of the people in the Marigot Health District which encompasses the communities of Marigot, Concord, Kalinago Territory, Wesley, Woodford Hill, Palm Tree, Calibishie, Bense and Anse D’ Mai.

The significance of this can’t be stressed enough as under normal circumstances, such areas are devoid of even the most basic medical facilities. Thanks to the Marigot Hospital, now they have access to one of the best medical institutions on the island.

The Hospital boasts of a 40,000 square feet, two-floor building, which has an impressive 75-bed capacity, as well as a wide range of essential services and modern state-of-the-art facilities.

The Marigot Hospital doesn’t skimp on any services and provides ambulatory Services, emergency Care, intensive care (ICU), maternity and pediatric care, laboratory and radiology services and a trauma center.

The most impressive factor to note about the Marigot Hospital is that its construction was funded entirely by the nations highly coveted Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program.

For those who are unaware of this, Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program is the nation’s primary source of funds. The fact that it is being used to establish an essential facility for the benefit of the nation’s citizens is beyond impressive.

It is a clear testament to the effectivity of the program and the fact that the government is using the monetary benefits in the most egalitarian and positive manner possible.

Health and Wellness Centers: A wide spread network of healthcare facilities

The Marigot Hospital is impressive in itself but the buck doesn’t stop there. The government of Dominica recognized quite early, that the nation requires a large scale and comprehensive healthcare system.

The answer to that was found in another agreement with MMC Development Ltd which bore fruit in the form of 12 health and wellness centers across the nation.

These health care centers were carefully placed at geographical points that showed the highest requirement. Another factor was that the government and healthcare bodies wanted to widen the reach of the healthcare system significantly.

This would allow the entire structure to work together and communicate effectively in emergencies like the pandemic, while also providing services to the entire nation simultaneously.

The 12 health care centers have been established in the following locations:

  • Ansé De Mai
  • Bagatelle
  • Bellevue Chopin
  • Colihaut
  • Georgetown
  • Mahaut
  • Marigot
  • Newtown
  • Penville
  • Soufriere
  • Vieille Case
  • Wesley


Dominica’s past achievements in healthcare

As mentioned earlier, Dominica battles the elements regularly and has found ways to flourish despite being beset by repeated natural calamities.

One such example was how Dominica held its own and provided healthcare facilities to citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

At that juncture, Prime Minister Skerrit had made it a point to emphasize the work done by the nation’s healthcare professionals. In a statement regarding the same he was heard saying, “You could not have told the difference between the doctor and the maintenance staff, and the matron and the maintenance staff,” he said.

“They were all at the service of the people, and the service of our country at a difficult time.”

“I think the future of the health services and the future of court will certainly be well-severed by that kind of attitude, that kind of commitment, and that demonstration of the true Dominican spotter, especially at this time.”

Despite the fact that the nation and its healthcare services were hit directly by a category-5 hurricane, the island nation held on and did not buckle under pressure.

In that catastrophe, 27 people lost their lives, 90% of the buildings on the island were damaged or destroyed and access to food and water was cut off.

This experience prompted the nation to focus on disaster resistant, sustainable models of healthcare infrastructure.

This goes to show that the new facilities being provided to citizens are not just random after thoughts, but very well thought out initiatives which have been curated and perfected over years of research and analysis.

Then, in 2018, the government made it known that it was fully committed to acquiring advance healthcare equipment such as the best possible MRIs, CT Scan machines and much more.

Prime Minister Skerrit went so far as to explain his intentions at a town hall meeting in Canada. He stated the following, “This government has been dedicated to acquiring advanced medical equipment and ensuring that we have more specialist doctors in our country, such as the many Dominican doctors who we sent on several scholarships to various universities to obtain specialised training to be able to provide better care to our citizens”

The fact that the fruits of the government’s labour and the patience of citizens is now bearing fruit is quite heartening to see. It is equally impressive that Dominica has managed to build a comprehensive and well thought out approach to healthcare which has now set it apart in the Caribbean and made it a model that most nations wish to emulate.