Shetty hospital touts for Canadian business

| 08/03/2016 | 44 Comments
Cayman News Service

Health City Cayman Islands Canadian office

(CNS): Health City Cayman Islands, which opened in East End two years ago and was heralded as the cornerstone of Cayman’s medical tourism sector, has opened an office in Canada to attract patients who are on long waiting lists for non-emergency procedures. The hospital received accreditation from the Joint Commission International last May, paving the way to target the North American market. However, it was criticised last month in the Public Accounts Committee for not living up to expectations in terms of patient numbers and the expected local economic boost.

Although officials said in a release this week that the hospital has treated hundreds of patients from the US market, expectations had been for more significant numbers. The issue over how government had justified the deal it struck with the hospital to persuade the leading Indian heart surgeon, Dr Devi Shetty, to pick Cayman for his first hospital outside his country was discussed by PAC when they examined a critical report by the Office of the Auditor General. The closed-door deal over the development of Health City that was negotiated by Cabinet members was described in an audit case study as unlawful.

The hospital was given hundreds of millions of dollars in tax, duty and fee concessions and the government was also obligated to spend public cash on upgrading infrastructure. At the time, the agreement was justified by the UDP government by expectations that the hospital would trigger a new economic boom. However, at a recent PAC meeting to examine the OAG report on how government handles development, the members noted that this boom had failed to materialise.

Apparently making an effort to live up to expectations, HCCI said there were more than 113,000 people in Ontario on waiting lists for hip replacements, knee replacements, cataract operations and hysterectomies who have to wait an average of 194 days before receiving their procedure. Therefore, despite the free health care available in Canada, the team at the Shetty hospital is hoping to attract Canadian patients willing to pay for their surgery to speed things up.

“While we are known for our expertise in cardiac surgery, we also have outstanding surgeons in high need areas such as orthopaedic and bariatric procedures,” said Dr Chandy Abraham, CEO and Head of Medical Services at Health City Cayman Islands. “We have the capacity, the skills and the facilities to treat patients from Canada and around the globe.”

The new Canadian office will field general inquiries about Health City Cayman Islands, support patients’ journeys to and from the Cayman Islands, coordinate consultations with HCCI physicians and patient care teams, connect with Canadian healthcare providers to ensure continuity of care, and secure travel arrangements as well as translation services where necessary, officials said.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How can PAC denounce Health City’s ‘failure’ to initiate an economic boom when it’s been opened for less than two years?!! Shows how out of touch these so-called intelligent MLAs are!! They should realize that anything under five years is too early to cast aspersions on its success or failure to contribute heavily to our economy.

    I operate a transportation business and over the past month I’ve transported no less than four groups attending medical-related seminars here. Factor that by other operators who may have received similar business and the hotels where these visitors stayed, as well as the restaurants, etc..Clearly HCCI has spurred an interest in Cayman as a destination for medical-related services and its contribution is already evidenced.

    Not everything is about fast money!! Health City has already proven its value in human terms to the Cayman Islands, I’m one grateful patient!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    If the hospital was built for $40 odd million…how has the government given $100’s of million of dollars in tax and waivers??? im no accountant but im also not dumb!!!! and also where was public money spent on upgrading infrastructure? this would be interesting to know for all of us…..

    • Anonymous says:

      By the time they get the full duty concession they will have spent billions on Cayman. Don’ be such a crab.

      • Anonymous says:

        Poppycock! What billions? They are milking CINICO and by extension the tax payers (yes, we pay taxes: stamp duty, import duty, fuel surcharge etc. are all taxes), Where are the one million medical tourists in the first two years that were promised? The truth is, the bulk of their patients are from the local population.

  3. Steady growth says:

    HCCI is a long term project. To sum it up as fallen short after only 2 years of operation is premature.

    They just received JCI Accreditation last year, so give it time. Organic growth must happen, and that is what’s happening. Their office opening in Canada is a testament to this growth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did they receive JCI accreditation, or did just a few departments receive it? Also, the Canadian office is evidence they lack patients. Wasn’t the original plan to attract medical tourists from the US? Where are they?

      • Steady growth says:

        I suppose you would also say that Baptist Health International lacks US patients, which is why they have an office set up here on West Bay road, Governor’s Square.

        Where is your business sense?

        • Anonymous says:

          Baptist have had their office here for years. Despite Health City, there remains a definite need for patients to leave the Cayman islands for medical services not available here. Even Health City transports very sick patients to the US. Canadian patients travel to Cayman? I don’t think so. My guess is the Canadian office will be closed within 12-months.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s hard to believe anyone can complain about having a fully accredited hospital on island. Canadian health care is fine if you don’t mind some services being rationed. I certainly might not want to wait six months just to get it done free.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember because of this facility all victims of medical negligence are at risk of not getting close to the compensation they would need for their long term care if the negligence is serious since all claims are now capped at $500k. That law change was a disgrace.

      • Anon says:

        Maybe you would rather go to the HSA/Cayman Islands Hospital, where if you are accidentally killed during a procedure, your family gets zero dollars and an apology.

      • Anonymous says:

        The limit only applies to pain and suffering awards. Future medical expense and loss of income damages are not limited. After all this time you should know this.

        • Anonymous says:

          So why is profit for Shetty more important than appropriate compensation for those harmed by the negligence of his workers?

      • Anonymous says:

        This is correct, and remember doctors at Health City Cayman do not go through the same credentialing process through the Health Professions Council that every other doctor has to — another absolute disgrace.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Fully” accredited. Are your sure?

  5. Inspector Gadget says:

    The facility does not market procedures that are geared to health tourism. Orthopedic surgery? Yeah, when I get a hip joint replaced, the next thing I want to do in a few days is to take a connecting flight back home from Cayman to the US. The types of procedures that would be worthwhile are things not usually covered by insurance in the first place, such as cosmetic and elective procedures.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I understand a Oncology Unit will be built in the near future. I hope they do so rather quick. I can only imagine how much this will ease the emotional and financial burden on families who have to receive cancer treatment when they can remain on Island.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Personally I am glad this facility exists one Island. One of my family member has already greatly benefited from not having to fly off Island and incurring a large travel bill to undergo a relatively standard heart procedure with additional recovery time off Island before being able to fly back.

    I have heard from many others who also have benefited from this facility and I myself have had a test done there which on Island is only available at Shetty’s.

    Let’s face it – GTH is a dump! It has been neglected for god knows how long, no upgrades, etc. So those who have issues with the duty waivers etc which have been given, please ensure that you take yourself and your loved ones to GTH and wait for referral to the US and steer clear of Health City.

    • Anonymous says:

      George Town Hospital is appalling, thank goodness someone had the fore sight to build a decent hospital. I don’t see why all of you are complaining. Health City has great doctors and great care. State of the art equipment. George town hospital is a hospital that you would find in a third world country. Their emergency room itself is awful. Their track record of what we know isn’t good, let alone the things we do hear about!!! Good for Dr Shetty…

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Canadian health service access and delivery system represents one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The Canadian healthcare system has no need for referrals into foreign jurisdiction health services whatsoever hence the mention of patients who wish to self-pay as being the basis of the the unfounded perception of waiting lists. Emergent and Urgent cases are first priority and no waiting lists whatsoever. As with Medical Tourism there are many disadvantages to the patients who seek overseas care as a means of fast-track to non-essential surgeries. Non-essential surgeries are wait-listed all over the world. There is no need for a Canadian office of any Caribbean based private sector hospital to be in Canada other than for revenue generating non-essential surgeries capture within the private pay patient sector, in short, cash-pay non essential surgical procedures represent quick cash pay revenues for foreign providers at the long-term local follow up treatment cost of the patient of health care provider in home country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another Canadian who has been brainwashed into believing the Canadian health care system is the best in the world. It isn’t even close. Waiting times are ridiculously long, for most everything. Shortage of doctors exists across the country. Per capita spend is one of the worst in the Western world. There has been a proven systematic denial of cancer treatments in Ontario were where patients were told there was no hope for them who then went to and were cured in the US. You can’t claim universal care when there is a denial of service. Open your eyes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Talk about brainwashed – the third largest cause of untimely death in the US is iatrogenic diseases – ones caused by doctors giving wrong or unnecessary treatments (presumably in order to charge more). The amount of fraud in the US system is so large that it could pay for the entire UK NHS with money to spare.

      • Anonymous says:

        The only persons being brainwashed are the offshore patients enticed to support and undergo medical tourism by believing the scaremongering tactics of certain global offshore health service providers who profit from the incoming (cash cow) quota of medical tourism surgeries needed in order to boost their otherwise non-profitable healthcare business enterprises. Medically unnecessary surgery is the backbone of such healthcare profiteering from healthcare surgeries that have no medical justified emergent urgent need and thus the brainwash scaremongering of fictitious long waiting lists throughout Canada is circulated to justify the search for surgery $$$$$’s. Time to wake up and understand the TRUTH!!! Medical Tourism is healthcare revenue generation and profiteering and nothing more than this similar to panning for the gold that does not otherwise exist locally. Greed is greed no matter how it is dressed up as Need!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        The best place to commence addressing denial of service and denied access to healthcare services is here at home and not abroad. The global trend is to promote wellness and to continue to provide conservative healthcare which Canada does and is successful at along with other nations taking care of their population medically necessary healthcare needs (not wants).

  9. Anonymous says:

    Canadian’s don’t have any issues with flying to Cuba. Hospital and treatment fees are a fraction of what Shetty Hospital charges so where’s the incentive?

  10. 345 says:

    They sold a bill of goods on tertiary care, which did not fly, particularly after Obamacare and now the weak Canadian$. Now they have a free pass to provide primary care services, which was not the original intent and resulted in this report that is” the development of Health City that was negotiated by Cabinet members was described in an audit case study as unlawful.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, and do you think the government will act to pull HCCI back into line with their original agreement. Yeah, right. Someone mentioned to me that the agreement gives HCCI 100-years of duty waivers! Is this correct? If it is, it means that a whole generation of Caymanians will subsidize a private business. I wonder what the per capita contribution will work out to?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Maybe while they are up there, they can hire some well trained Canadian doctors; Canadian credentials are internationally respected…….

    • Anonymous says:

      trained on who? Canada’s 36 million population or India’s 1.25 billion population???? Did you not read that the hospital is JCI accredited. it doesn’t get any better than that my friend. http://www.jointcommissioninternational.org/

      • Anonymous says:

        JCI accreditation is based on policies and procedures in the physical hospital. Does not speak to credentials of medical personnel.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, JCI very much speaks to the credentialing of physicians. However, remember that physicians at HCCI do not go through the same credentialing process (via the Health Practice Commission) that ALL OTHER DOCTORS have to. Why? I’ll tell you why: to circumvent the Health Practice Law.

          • Anonymous says:

            Joint Commission International represents standards external to the US therefore is apple and orange in comparison to the far stricter US accreditation standards. It is far easier to obtain JCI accreditation for remote International healthcare locations (non US) (rubber stamp easy). This is why it was so easy to seek a non-US location in the Caribbean Region given the Cayman Islands is geographically close to the US for desired Medical Tourism referrals and the physician credentialing criteria differential definitely created the easy resolution).

      • Anonymous says:

        You could not possibly be implying that the Canadian standards are lower than the Indian, now could you? Get a life!

        • Anonymous says:

          It equals American standards actually.

          • Anonymous says:

            Absolutely correct! That’s why Canadian qualified docs cross into the US with ease! In India, did you know you can call yourself an Ob/Gyn after only 3 years of residency training? Takes 4 – 5 years in the US or Canada. Cayman, you are setting yourself up for more than just ridicule by accepting the low standard of doctors at HCCI

      • Anonymous says:

        Is the whole facility JCI accredited or just some departments?

  12. Anonymous says:

    it never made sense from day one…..

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      No, it never made sense, and still doesn’t! It was and is a big boondoggle that benefitted certain people who had a lot to gain financially.

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