The Scoliosis mission’s aim is to provide free spine implants for our Scoliosis patients, who cannot afford the total cost of implants and surgery. A secondary goal of the mission is capacity building in the form of introducing spinal cord monitoring at SPMC.
Most patients seen at our out-patient department would back out from the surgery after knowing the cost of procuring the implants and would rather just undergo bracing even if they are really candidates for surgery. This scoliosis mission also provided access to safe spine deformity correction surgery with the use of spinal cord monitors courtesy of BiotronicNeuroNetwork.
Since March 2012, DTF’s complex spine mission to Jamaica has been focused on corrective scoliosis surgeries for the patients under 20 years old. And although healthcare is free for young people 18 and under, the Jamaican Healthcare system doesn’t have the capacity to assist these patients.
2-3% of nearly 2.8 million Jamaicans suffer from scoliosis. There are currently over 300 young people on a surgical waiting list at Kingston Public Hospital who can't otherwise afford corrective spine surgery. Universal health care available, however, patients and hospital can’t afford the implants which are at minimum $50,000 JA per patient.