Barbados Fertility Center (BFC) is a Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited center of excellence, specializing in all aspects of infertility management. BFC opened its doors in 2002. Exactly nine months later, its first in vitro fertilization (IVF) baby was born. And in 2008, the center celebrated its thousandth egg collection.
BFC treats couples ages 26–46 who have been unable to conceive a child for a year or more. Infertility has many different causes, and BFC tailors its treatments to meet individual needs. The center’s unique approach combines rest, relaxation, and holistic therapy with medical intervention. BFC’s cutting-edge technology and stress-reducing environment give couples the best possible chances of conception.
BFC’s high success rates and relatively low treatment costs attract regional and international patients in growing numbers annually; couples travel from Europe, the UK, the US, and Canada to seek treatment. However, the center has not forgotten its closer-to-home clientele—BFC’s main facility is located in Christ Church, Barbados, and partnerships with gynecologists on other islands have made assisted reproduction accessible to couples throughout the Caribbean. Satellite offices also operate in Antigua, St. Maarten, and Trinidad.
BFC’s international couples usually find that their infertility treatment costs less in Barbados than at home. Patients from the UK report that their public health system funds only 25 percent of the cost of IVF treatments. Patients’ out-of-pocket costs may run as high as £5,000 (about US$7,600) for a single cycle. Patients from the US often report cost estimates as high as $30,000.
The Center's History
Dr. Juliet Skinner, BFC’s medical director, is Barbadian by birth. She trained as an obstetrician/gynecologist at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. “I returned to Barbados [after my training],” she says, “and it was obvious that choices for couples with infertility were very limited.” Using her connections in Ireland, Skinner seized an opportunity to develop an IVF unit on the island in conjunction with the largest unit in Ireland.
Not satisfied with establishing merely a good clinic, Skinner and her business partner, clinic director Anna Hosford, discussed how they could make their Barbados clinic the best in the world. “That was our vision,” she says. “The idea of having an excellent center in the Caribbean could be an added value for any patient, anywhere in the world: marrying the idea of stress reduction at the same time, being able to put things in the place where you designed your clinic—the absolute top-of-the-line of everything.”
Over the years, Skinner and Hosford assembled what they call “the right team of individuals,” progressively developing their center to what the outstanding facility is today. From 2005 onward, BFC achieved success rates comparable to, if not better than, those in the US—and twice those achieved in the UK. “Ironically,” Skinner notes, “that’s where the first IVF baby was born.”
The reasons for BFC's success? "Our philosophy, our team, our approach, anything that can make a difference," Skinner says. "The most important message we can get out there is that infertility is common. It affects one in six couples. There is a host of reasons why it may occur—and the vast majority of them have a solution. Treatment options are effective, especially if we are treating a couple early on."
Last updated on 28 February 2014
Get to Know Your Hospital or Clinic
Once you’ve chosen a date and destination for your treatment, you’ll be wise to do some additional sleuthing, beginning with your treatment center. Although detail-driven, this investigation is not as daunting as it sounds, and most of your research involves simple fact-checking.