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Photos: Bougainvillea celebrates expansion

Left to right - Owner of Bougainvillea Clinic Dr Heskith Vanterpool, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, and Minister of Health and Social Development Ronnie Skelton

Left to right – Owner of Bougainvillea Clinic Dr Heskith Vanterpool, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, and Minister of Health and Social Development Ronnie Skelton

Bold. Visionary. Pioneering.

That’s how Dr Heskith Vanterpool and his wife Jean were described on Saturday morning as they swung open the doors to a brand new surgical ward, an operating theatre suite, and an imaging department at Bougainvillea Clinic in Road Town, Tortola.

Not being selfish with the praise, Dr Vanterpool expressed gratitude to the many persons who have contributed to Bougainvillea’s incredible journey.

They include Dr Vanterpool’s late mother Geneva Harrigan in whose honour the surgical ward has been named, Dr Rodney Ellis after whom the imaging department is named, and Dr Robin Tattersall in whose honour the operating theatre has been named.

The milestone attracted ringing endorsement from the foremost healthcare figures in British Virgin Islands – Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, Minister of Health Ronnie Skelton, and Roy Barry who runs the National Health Insurance (NHI) plan.

Head of the NHI, Roy Barry

Head of the NHI, Roy Barry

The expansion of Bougainvillea, Barry declared, is good news for NHI beneficiaries.

“We are aware that many of our beneficiaries would prefer to undergo medical treatment – where possible – right here at home. We at the NHI are happy that we will now have even more choices within the territory,” he said while he touted the three new facilities as a ‘bold step’ in the right direction.

Premier Smith, in the meantime, hailed Bougainvillea as a ‘first class hospital facility’ that has been complementing public healthcare for umpteen years.

Such enduring relationship between public and private healthcare facilities is paramount, added the premier.

His health minister, Skelton, thinks likewise.

“Our expanded healthcare partnerships are important to our people and our economy from many perspectives. Apart from reducing the hassle of overseas travel, more of the monies spent on healthcare services can now remain in the territory and circulate in the economy,” Skelton said.

He further told the gathering: “My vision is for healthcare providers in both the public and private sectors to work closely with one another to develop systems and relationships to facilitate seamless patient-centred care at affordable cost.”

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The health minister also lionized the owners of Bougainvillea as being ‘pioneers’ in the healthcare industry in the British Virgin Islands, which he said continues to expand beyond humble beginnings.

The humble beginning of Bougainvillea did not escape those who spoke at Saturday’s auspicious occasion.

Dr Vanterpool, for example, recalled that the site on which Bougainvillea now stands was home to the Purple Palace Hotel, which was abandoned for some 14 years – starting shortly after it opened.

Then, in 1973, Dr Robin Tattersall bought the hotel property for $120,000. He transformed it into the Bougainvillea Clinic.

Dr Vanterpool, with $3 million in hand, later purchased Bougainvillea Clinic on January 10, 2010.

“The effort to transform Bougainvillea Clinic from what it was then to what it is today – while maintaining the historical significant features and artifacts – has been a long and arduous process. It has taken seven years to come to this point,” added Dr Vanterpool.

Dr Robin Tattersall

Dr Robin Tattersall

Dr Tattersall – the former Bougainvillea owner in whose honour the new operating theatre has been named – was the only honouree at the celebration.

“l am very elated that this happened,” he said while he expressed amazement that Dr Vanterpool has managed to carve the new Bougainvillea building out of a Road Town hillside.

“I don’t know how he could possibly have made the sort of facility that he has on this particular site. I am amazed. These are real pioneers. They have brought so many new things to this country. Thank you Dr Heskith Vanterpool.”

Dr Vanterpool, in the meantime, was told that his late mother would have appreciated his ‘very thoughtful gesture’ to name the surgical ward in her honour.

“She is here in spirit with us. And I am truly truly honoured that my brother Heskith has accorded her this honour… Her last wish was for her body to be buried in Anguilla – the land of her birth. Certainly, Heskith naming this ward after Mama is an excellent symbol of her legacy that is left here in the British Virgin Islands,” said Lorna Smith, who is the first daughter of the late Geneva ‘Mama’ Harrigan.

Other members of the Vanterpool family – as well as friends – witnessed the grand opening of the new facilities at Bougainvillea Clinic. They included Dr Vanterpool’s three children – Jason, Stephen, and Dr Stephanie Vanterpool – who all flew in from the United States to participate in the Bougainvillea milestone.

The Vanterpools, in the meantime, also own Eureka Medical Clinic in Road Town, Tortola.

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13 Comments

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  1. Vanzetti Sacco says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    When I tell YOU THIS IS A SCHEME OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. You realize they not moving on business that not paying it. You know why? CAUSE WE KNOW WHO THE SCHEME FOR AN SOME OF US ARE NOT WILLING PARTICIPANTS.

  2. Freedom! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    The choices humans make, good and bad, most often determines the outcome of so much of an earthly life.

    Often, in retrospection, regret creeps in casting many dispiriting shadows.

    Law, medicine or philosophy should’ve been my career choice.

    Some say no. You are fulfilling God’s will and your calling towards helping mankind.

    If that is so, why am i struggling so brutally in this present career?

    Oh, that’s right! Don’t forget the lives of Jesus, Martin Luther, Dr. King, Malcolm X Mother Theresa, Noel, lyndy and countless others who gave their lives to making others better.

    Don’t forget them, and be grateful for them, least we perish for forsaken them!

    So when my duties are over, dissatisfaction and all, hope God will say, Job well done!!!

    You have helped many and have suffered immensely along the course of your destiny. Now come on home to rest for you have done your best!

  3. en h eye says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    Now i see where the money gone

  4. Lovely says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    This is great news! “thank you Dr. Vanterpool and your team”

  5. WTF says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    I hope that cost for the services will be affordable and not inflated. Inflated prices will only allow who can afford to access Health Care, and who can’t afford will suffer and die.

    The territory is in dire need of specialty medical care, but it should not be that only special people can have access.

    • Hmmmm says:

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

      Did you miss the part where it says people with NHI can now access care there? This is the first time in the HISTORY of the BVI where regular people have the opportunity to access healthcare at the Purple Palace and not have to sell their land and soul in order to do so. All kidding aside, NHI isn’t looking so bad after all is it? Kudos to Government for having the balls to push NHI through and to Mr. Vanterpool for his hefty investment. All who talking nonsense about how much NHI pays him, if the other businesses had the foresight that he had, they would be raking it in too. I find it sad that a local working hard and investing in his craft then reaping the benefits can turn out to be a negative thing for some.

      • WTF says:

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        @Hmmmm
        Did you think about the out rageous cost that medical facility charges people for services?

        Even if NHI pay two thirds of the cost, would you be able to afford your portion. Been there.

  6. Reply says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    Great news for the BVI. Congratulations Dr. Vanterpool on reaching this milestone. I am pleased that Dr. Vanterpool has seen it fit to recognize and honor those who in some way paved the way for this day.

    Particularly, Dr. Tattersall, a personal mentor and hero of mine who has contributed so much to the health care of these islands when there were few doctors and surgeons around. He still looks good after all these years.

    Again, congratulations.

  7. east says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    NDP again, BVI (people) will forever be broke .. Those who already have getting AGAIN, the poor people will suffer and perish here.. my GOD help us all.. If you don’t have sufficient funds .. You DEAD!!

  8. Same old says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Milk the nhi

  9. Whats new says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Yup. I am proud but NHI is a means of fattening the wallets of the doctors while poor people suffering. Why is it NHI don’t cover so many medications people need?

  10. Interested says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    Congrats to my doctor for over 30 years.Proud of your achievement.

  11. Freedom! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    To Hmmmmmmmmm:

    It will if government do not take control, if it even possible anymore, of the blatant over pricing and robbery of the system.

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