The state of healthcare in Cayman

| 18/07/2017 | 20 Comments

Cayman News ServiceAnonymous writes: We can only pray that Mr Seymour (the new health minister) takes time to educate on the healthcare industry. The HSA is a good facility and with the correct funding, capital and foresight has the ability to be excellent. Being a health minister is a monumental job and his decisions affect outcomes and ultimately people’s lives.

If you take a holistic overview of healthcare in general, one must consider that when a society is provided with accessible, affordable patient-focused healthcare, it creates health and well-being, resulting in a more productive society. Bottom line is healthy people work and are productive.

Cayman is riddled with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, renal disease, cancer and a host of other debilitating and expensive diseases. An alarming amount of citizens’ only access to healthcare is the emergency room. Combine this with people who do not have insurance and others who have inadequate insurance, ultimately creating havoc and debt within the hospital system.

Debt within a healthcare system results in budget cuts, high nursing ratios, inadequate services, high readmission rates, equipment issues, poor patient follow-through. It also creates poor moral and inadvertently unsafe practices.

The only companies in the healthcare industry prospering in Cayman are the insurance companies, who find every excuse not to pay the already ridiculously low gazetted fees and charge astronomical premiums for limited healthcare access. Let’s not forget their ability to deny claims at will.

Taking what we know, the fixes are not quick, easy or cheap. Fixing the system needs to be a priority. Cayman deserves the best. We first need to look at the insurance industry. Make it affordable, providing equitable coverages for all, focusing on preventive medicine. Also, government needs to adjust fees so healthcare facilities can afford to do business.

The hospital needs to focus on health maintenance. It needs an urgent care system for non-acute emergencies and GP physicians with assigned patients to better track individuals’ health. It needs dedicated nurses and mid-level providers to support the GP physicians in follow-up care. It needs patient navigators, social workers to keep track of patients needs.

We need to provide better aftercare for medically needy patients, with discharge planning starting at day one of admission. We need a rehabilitation facility to provide services to focus on getting people well and functioning to their fullest potential. The need to practice initiatives to facilitate communication among providers and pharmacies is crucial to reduce cost and to provide cohesive care.

There needs to be patient-focused clinics for patients with hypertension, obesity and diabetes, with a primary focus on prevention, education and medication compliance. It needs an additional ambulances to provide timely and consistent care to the ill and injured, and a fleet and equipment that promotes safety for the providers and citizens of Cayman. The list could go on for pages.

Hopefully, Mr Seymour will take healthcare a bit more seriously than his campaign promises, which were downright childish and self-serving. He has been given a great opportunity a make a difficult situation better. He has the opportunity to make great strides towards a healthier more productive Cayman.

So, one must ask Mr, Seymour: Are you up for the challenge?

Prove all your naysayers wrong and get it right. Lives depend on your actions!

 

This comment was posted in response to Health minister aiming for ‘adequate’ cover

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Category: Health, health and safety, Health Insurance, Viewpoint

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    $30,000 fine for not having health insurance? Good luck with that, as the fines is equivalent to 7 years of my measly pension, before spending the first $ on living expenses. Health insurance for me with my “pre-existing conditions” is twice my total monthly income. That leaves me where?




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  2. Anonymous says:

    As in the case of so many areas of our government, regulations and laws, we like dumb lemmings, followed the USA in regard to health care. The new building code and builder’s law are crappy enough, and are stark examples of trying to be mini-America. You see the USA going over the cliff lately? Do we really want to follow? Apparently, yes. The USA initiates mandatory health insurance, Mini-Me does the same, but our moronic lawmakers totally botched the job. They tried to imitated the USA in regard to compulsory health insurance but the mindless idiots seemed to leave out the “affordable” part. The fine for not having insurance is draconian: $30,000. How stupid is that? The worthless power mongers we elected threw us under the health insurer’s bus. We are like sheep led to slaughter. Tell me: What do they care how high premiums are? They don’t have to worry about not being able to afford premiums. Do they care that the system is failing us? No. Do you see them trying to really fix things in our favour? No. They can afford a ticket out or even to charter a medevac to Miami if needed. If you really want to see a change, bring the politicians’ salaries down to middle-class levels and see how fast they start paying attention to the cost of living and the plight of the working man. As it stands now, they are in ivory towers, totally out of touch and could not care less. Once the huge portion of the constituency–civil servants–start having to pay, which is coming very very soon, the pressure will be on. We are suffering and the time has come for us to challenge the way things are going and that demand our leaders change the sadly broken system.




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    • Anonymous says:

      US healthcare does not remotely resemble Cayman’s.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe in your estimation but the costs certainly do. Hopefully you’re not on the HSA advisory board.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you reiterating my point that in their attempt at imitation, the bunglers here forced the point of “universal” by draconian fines and heavy-handed enforcement, but entirely ignored the accessible and “affordable” part.
        So… Your point is? Do you have one? Just checking.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Add to the mentioned healthcare concerns mentioned, the issue of those persons who have a pre-existing condition or otherwise considered high-risk, and those persons then find themselves unable to obtain a mortgage and so must rent and are never able to attain home equity.
    If CI Govt. really wanted to correct this they would pass legislation making it illegal for the Insurance Cartel (err i mean companies) to operate the way they do!




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    • Anonymous says:

      As far as I know, insurance companies are not allowed to refuse persons with pre-existing conditions, but they are allowed to charges outrages premiums.
      So basically the same result.
      Please realize this thanks to previous health ministers who COULD have made a difference.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, previous governments failed us regarding affordable, decent quality health care; but now the full responsibility for the current mess falls squarely on the shoulders of the current government and no one else. Will they too fail us? I do not hear anything meaningful from them yet. Do you?




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      • Anonymous says:

        They do so often…telling people to go to CINICO. When Govt. officials are contacted….”we’re looking in to it”…then nothing!




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Unless we break away from the USA medical care machine which is in cahoots with the same corrupt insurance providers we have here nothing will change. There are places in this world where you can go for first class private healthcare at the cost of paying the equivalent of your copayment here for the same procedure. The total cost is still below what we are paying here even with flight, accommodation and meals factored in. Seems that the system here doesn’t want people to know this, if more people researched and went overseas, not to the USA for surgery then our system might be forced to change.
    Mr. Seymour has made a pitch to start a change. Let’s hope he can before the end of his tenure.

    Another item Mr. Seymour should put on his agenda is stricter controls on the quality of meat and produce entering the island and grown on island.

    Mr. Seymour as champion of our environment you want to find out what might be making people sick? Start by making the Cayman Cancer Registry mandatory. Collect all the information you can about what might have contributed towards a patient’s cancer. Keep this information well secure as it should never get into the hands of insurers. Step up testing frequency on water and start testing soil where crops are grown and livestock is raised. The results might be shocking but knowing and acting positively may save many lives and reduce future cronic sickness of our population.




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    • Anonymous says:

      US medical care has nothing to do with your problems.




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      • Anonymous says:

        What, did you just pull your head out of the sand or somewhere else maybe? I suggest you stick it back in there. Truth bites everyone eventually.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You seem blissfully unaware about the fact that many of the “same corrupt insurance providers” and insurance networks also underwrite local health policies. Get educated before you go off and write tripe.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    The author should perhaps apply to hospital for an administrator position. So much insight should be utilized.




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  6. Veritas says:

    Anyone who proposes an immediate ban on all work permits loses all credibility, and in my humble opinion should not be Minister of anything.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The freeze on work permits was part of his campaign rhetoric. So it is the voters who should lose credibility, right? Seymour was only telling Caymanians what they wanted to hear. GIGO applies very well to Caymanian politicians and those who elect them. GIGO applies to the campaign promises that voters gobble up and then output their vote accordingly. GIGO! Then we input inept politicians and expect sterling output from them. Nope! GIGO! GIGO! GIGO! Google the term and I am sure you will agree it applies very well to Caymanian politics. GIGO, and it is piling mighty high roun’ yah lately.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    This has been an ongoing issue for years upon years here and nothing has changed. So to be honest I doubt it is going to change. Government seems to turn a blind eye to it.




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    • anon says:

      The government and HSA Board can’t afford to turn a blind eye to less than mediocre performance, especially when the HSA management team are so well paid.




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    • Anonymous says:

      They tuen blind eye to the situation only because we sit idly by and allow them to shirk their responsibility.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Well written. Hopefully he reads and acts.




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