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Moving... Crohn's disease?

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Nov 22nd, 2017, 12:38 PM
  #1
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Moving... Crohn's disease?

We plan to move to the Caribbean sometime in the next 3 years. My 10-yr-old son is Autistic and has severe Crohn's disease. Which island has the best doctors/facilities to treat Crohn's?
ladylisa9192 is offline  
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Nov 22nd, 2017, 01:49 PM
  #2
 
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When it comes to medical professionals and facilities in the Caribbean “best” is a relative term. The “best” might not be anywhere close to what is available where you now live.

Of the islands you mentioned Puerto Rico (especially the San Juan area) will have a far greater number of doctors who specialize in the conditions/ailments you mentioned. The St. Thomas in Virgin Islands would be a distant second and the other Virgin Islands won’t even be in the running.

You’d be wise to get referrals from your current physician- he/she will be the one most familiar with your son’s condition the person most qualified to make recommendations.

I am an Ex-pat living in the Caribbean and I can tell you almost every Ex-pay (and many locals) I know goes back to the US, Canada or Europe for any “major” medical care. We use local doctors and hospitals for treatment of colds, flu, and minor first aid. For anything remotely serious you want to get off the island as quick as possible.

You need to do some very serious “first hand” research and, quite frankly, asking for medical advice on a travel forum is not the proper venue for the information you need.
RoamsAround is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2017, 05:47 AM
  #3
 
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Visit the islands you are interested in, look at the facilities and speak with some of the medical staff.
Sassafrass is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2017, 07:28 AM
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Also, if you are a US Citizen and are contemplating relocation to an island other than the US VI’s or Puerto Rico you should know that you CANNOT just show up one day and take up residence. Most islands are independent nations and have immigration laws that you must comply with before you can move there. Generally they entail making a substantial investment (think in terms of $350k to $750k) in real estate and proving you have the financial means to support yourself without working. On most islands you CANNOT work without obtaining a Work Permit and that requires having a “unique skill” and finding an employer who is willing to sponsor you. That employer must prove to the local Labor Ministry that there are no locals qualified to fill the position.

Keep in mind that unless you live in a very expensive area the cost of living in the Caribbean is going to be substantially higher than where you now live and that if you need to work to support yourself you’ll find wages are generally lower than for comparable positions “back home”. Tjat’s The Catch-22 of living in the Caribbean.
RoamsAround is offline  
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Nov 24th, 2017, 03:37 AM
  #5
 
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Some hard questions—

Are you moving because it’s a dream or is work transferring you?

Is this a personal choice or have to choice?

If personal, forgive me, but have enough money to fly your done in for Chrons care.

No Island is really equipped to take care of someone with a serious disease like that. My daughter has it, and while we travel quite frequently and most times stays in remission, I would never live comfortable for regular care during a flair up.

Majority expats on island leave for major care, cancers, autoimmune disease, major car accidents

If this is a personal choice to move and you done has special needs you’d be totally unrealistic to move. And forgive me, but quite selfish.

If it’s a dream, try a different approach, buy a villa, visit frequently. Rent out when not using. (Tons of work but more realistic dream) retirement or semi there.

But don’t you dare do that to your son.

Sorry to be so harsh, but it’s reality
blamona is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2017, 04:13 PM
  #6
 
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And I would say that the bigger problem is education for your son. There is special ed, but it is not anywhere near the quality you probably have in America. Many people in the USVI do not fly off for regular care, but now after the two hurricanes, all bets are off.
eastenderusvi is offline  
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Nov 27th, 2017, 12:58 PM
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I also would question this move...

Are you following a dream for yourselves? Or you have a job transfer? What's the reason for the relocation.

Which islands have you already visited? Which ones did you like best? How long did you stay on previous trips to the area?
suze is offline  
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Nov 28th, 2017, 12:52 AM
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I fear the OP is a 'one hit wonder' (or she is waiting for an alert from Fodors -- which won't happen)
janisj is offline  
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Nov 28th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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I think the comments above, though I totally agree with them, may not be what she wanted to hear.
Weadles is offline  
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Nov 29th, 2017, 04:02 AM
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Thinking it was a dream. Many of us have it but you must be realistic. It’s not just beach and palm trees
blamona is offline  
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Nov 29th, 2017, 05:14 AM
  #11
 
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I agree with blamona. I would not want to cope with an ongoing serious medical issue in the islands.
Weadles is offline  
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Nov 29th, 2017, 12:25 PM
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Even if she does not return to post again, hopefully she has read these comments and may reconsider this plan.
suze is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2017, 05:16 AM
  #13
 
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With all due respect to the post above, I think you're missing the point. Many of us on this forum are living at least part time in the Caribbean, or have traveled there extensively, and know first-hand that most islands can not adequately support a person with extreme medical needs.
Weadles is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2017, 12:26 PM
  #14
 
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Do you have anyone in any of these areas that you can speak to and maybe research for you if you can't travel to the islands before to check and see for yourself before making a big move?
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