Aster hospital to be built in West Bay

| 23/02/2021 | 79 Comments
Cayman News Service
Gene Thompson at Tuesday’s press briefing

(CNS): A proposed new hospital, which, if the project goes ahead, will be Grand Cayman’s fifth and its third medical tourism facility, will be built in West Bay, according to Gene Thompson, the developer behind the project. Aster Cayman Med City, as the hospital is being dubbed, will be on land that Dart is selling to the group, located alongside the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and between Jackson’s Pond and Batabano Road, Thompson said.

At a press briefing Tuesday, Thompson said that a planned area development (PAD) has already been submitted to planning because in addition to the multi-service, 150-bed hospital, the phased project will include an assisted living facility and a medical university.

Thompson was one of the developers behind Health City Cayman Islands, which was also meant to include these facilities when it was first announced. However, just last week HCCI announced that it will be building a second hospital on the edge of Camana Bay, also on Dart land.

The Aster project is said to be worth $350 million if the full facility is ever completed. The first phase will be the specialist hospital, which will also cater to both local patients and overseas medical tourists. Part of this project will include a clinic on Cayman Brac, which comes on the heels of Health City’s announcement that it, too, is going to build a satellite medical facility there.

Over the last week there have been indications in the international press that Aster, which is headquartered in Dubai, is facing some financial difficulties. One major shareholder has sold its stake in the hospitals and the company is looking at selling land in India to address some of its debt. Poor financial results have also indicated that the company is facing some cash flow problems. Nevertheless, Thompson said that Aster was the only investor in this project and was financing the development.

According to government, the hospital project represents an opportunity for Cayman to expand its fledgling medical tourism product. Premier Alden McLaughlin said that patients here will save money by not needing to travel overseas and people in the region can access quality care that is cheaper than in the United States

McLaughlin said the hospital will provide services that do not exist here yet. In addition, as a teaching hospital it will be able to provide Caymanians with a career path in medicine and will provide a variety of other jobs both during constriction and when it opens.

The premier said it spoke volumes about the economy of the Cayman Islands and the confidence in his government, claiming it was another “win-win situation that my government is delivering”.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said it would help Cayman become the Mecca for healthcare tourism and welcomed the location of the project. In a strange claim considering his record in office, Seymour said that “with my environment hat on, I am was always pleased to see a development seeking to reduce the use of cars”, as he lauded the planned green initiatives included in the project.


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Category: Business, development, Health, health and safety, Local News, Tourism

Comments (79)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like government may have to finally increase the staffing and fleet of ambulances instead of constantly getting by on the junk currently serving the citizens of cayman. For the amount of money spent on one new fire apparatus you could have bought a fleet of ambulances. Who do the bulk of the emergency calls on island. When their not out dodging calls and eating ice cream….lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    Another hospital is great,for one of the best things to happen to Cayman in years is Health City, now u am not saying it’s in the best place, I always though it would been better if it was on the road going to North Side, but not too far in on that road,maybe like quarter way in to North Side it would been far from the sea incase a big hurricane came our way.

  3. Michel says:

    Another hospital in West Bay ? Really ????

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Gene, you are a true Caymanian hero. Do not pay any attention to the hate talk as those people are jealous and fool-fool!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ironwood Mk2!

  6. Anonymous says:

    “…be able to provide Caymanians with a career path in medicine.”

    If only that were true.

    IF the CIG does not address the severely POOR basic education Caymanians receive, these promises will simply not happen. Caymanians will be the orderlies, trash collectors, maintenance staff…

    Sorry, basic education in Cayman is not up to the minimal basics for further education in medical fields.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not in Government schools, no. You use too broad a brush.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:07 here.

        Yes you are correct, but many Caymanians do not have the resources to pay for private education. Nor is there space even if they could.

        I stand by my thought – Very few Caymanians will become highly trained Medical Professionals from Caymanian located facilities. This is a PR stunt! The bulk of Cayman youth suffer the plight of poor education, plain and simple.

        • Anonymous says:

          So long as “Caymanian facilities” continue to employ regional teachers, their students will receive third word schooling with low expectation of future success.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not true. There are qualified Caymanian doctors here who were educated here before heating off to university to pursue medical degrees.

      • Anonymous says:

        Some returned and caused death by improperly performing the basic, though quite invasive, procedure. Ironically this procedure is done to save life in an emergency.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why 👎? It was reported and everybody knows about that case. Such procedures often performed on a plane while in flight with a sharp object to save people in a medical emergency.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman doctors? How many?

  7. GetUpStandUp says:

    Just in time for elections

  8. Anonymous says:

    makes you wonder what Dart has figured out at the dump that is going to require us to need all these medical facilities in the future. Smart move if the toxicity is going to kill us, he may as well make a buck or two as we check out. It’s no worse than buying the debt of poor countries and making them pay 8x what he bought it for.

  9. Theo Bullmore says:

    Surely the Eastern district is the only one with an existing medical tourism facility…….so how have they been failed “again”?

  10. Anonymous says:

    every development promises that local talent will be developed. I have yet to see the fruits of this.

  11. Anonymous says:

    There are 60,000 people living in Cayman, half are young healthy expats.

    Why then Cayman needs 5 hospitals? If Caymanians that sick, why???? If wiring is faulty in your house you don’t keep buying new light bulbs.

    How a hospital can be approved to be built without a health state of the residents analysis?

    Each and every new project further destroys already burdened environmental and generates waste.

    Other than capping, aka putting a bandaid, the Dump, what is being done to clean the environment, reduce waste and create 21 century waste management system?

    Once you build WtE plant, start working on the 6 hospital. Chernobyl would look like paradise compared to Grand Cayman. But of course, you can’t feel or touch dioxins and furans, therefore they don’t exist for you.

    If you believe that WtE can be built, run and monitored in Cayman by Caymanians, you are a fool. Besides it is extremely expensive to run, for70% of its maintenance cost are to control emissions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you care if we have more hospitals? Isnt having an excess of healthcare options better than a deficiency?

      • Anonymous says:

        That depends on what it does to cost. Maybe it will reduce prices by having more competition. Or maybe it will drive cost up. Only time will tell.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:45 am
        Did you read what he/she said ?
        Why 5 hospitals for 60k population?
        This money could be used in an effort to treat/remove that f u c **** dump, to begin with.

        • Anonymous says:

          All these new hospitals are private, not government money, other than the no doubt generous concessions no doubt!

    • Anonymous says:

      6:41 You have just made HISTORY!
      First to COMPLAIN of too many HOSPITALS!

    • Anonymous says:

      “A proposed new hospital, which, if the project goes ahead, will be Grand Cayman’s fifth and its third medical tourism facility, will be built in West Bay”

      That is literally the first sentence of the article and it states: “MEDICAL TOURISM”

      I think people just come on here to complain.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe he read the medical tourism bit but just didn’t believe it, given the experience with Shetty?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I guess we are looking at a future with a completely developed western half of the island with not a single bit of natural space or mangroves.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So we are putting more infrastructure stress in WB road?! Not to mention the possibility of that area being under water when the next category 5 comes through. How are they going to mobilize all those patients out of there, and to where???

    And a retirement close to WB?? I trust there will be a 10 foot wall around the development, and security on each corner!

  14. Anonymous says:

    A lot of hospitals and not enough affordable medical care.

  15. Anonymous says:

    No thanks Gene. What happened to you at HCCI? Why you got kicked out Gene?? How many people you still owe Gene for HCCI?

    What happen Gene?

    • Anonymous says:

      I can only assume you have kept the same job your entire life??…changes happen and new challenges present themselves. This is no different i would assume Health City has stalled on its original promise as we haven’t seen anything from the original master plan development. ie University…

  16. Anonymous says:

    For the Cayman Islands to be “the Mecca of medical tourism”, expansion of medical cannabis business-functions (both domestic cultivation and cannabinoid extraction) is vitally important and necessary (including research and development).

    Why doesn’t government ask health practitioners (who are educated on it, have experience working with it and are well-versed on the topic) and patients (who are prescribed and have personally experienced the benefits) what they think? Are these groups being ignored? Are their voices not important? Should they not have a say?

    Is that “a win-win development that…government is delivering”? Really, is it? Premier? MoH, CBC, CMO, AG? Seriously, is it? No! What then, please do tell?

    Well, “with my environment hat on, I am was [sic] always pleased to see a development seeking to use” our local economy enjoying benefits and our beloved Caymanians benefiting from a legal medical cannabis industry.

    QUESTIONS – Mr. Government, what do you think? Or, more to the point, Mr. Government Coffers, what do you think? Premier, CMO, CBC, AG, MoH, what do you think? The questions are coming and, in order to make it easy, they will also come with answers too. Now that’s a “win-win”! Nothing is difficult, you just have to figure it out; then, it’s easy!

    What is the problem? Is government trying to intentionally deprive patients of homegrown and processed medical cannabinoids or Caymanian businesses owners of profit-earning opportunities?

    Thought that’s why the PPM-government passed the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Law 2016. Isn’t that correct? Wasn’t it to ensure that patients (especially those with serious health issues) have the benefit of desired medical cannabis medication?

    Or is this something that Caymanians have no business in? Or should it remain a luxury that some patients can’t afford, because it has to be sourced off-Island (rather than sourced domestically)?

    Why not? Says who? Who knows? Mr. Constitution, what do you think? Mr. Bill of Rights, what do you say? I know what I think. I know what I will say. “Elementary, my dear Watson!” [Sherlock Holmes voice!] And whole lot more in due course.

    A strong legal framework supporting a local medical cannabis industry “project represents an opportunity for Cayman to expand its fledgling medical tourism product”? Does it not? If not, please do explain?

    If you think that, what is mentioned is incorrect, please prove it wrong? I bet — a friendly bet, not money, which is illegal — that you cannot! Time is longer than rope, so in time we shall see. Won’t we?

    So many questions, but so far little-to-no answers. Or, at least, the no right answers from government and public officials. When there are answers from government/public officials, they are not intelligible and not legally correct. Do your home work, please.

    For clarity, a Christian wrote this. God bless to all!

  17. Another Talking Head says:

    This can’t be real. Are we expecting many Long COVID patients to come here or something?

  18. Anonymous says:

    some cheek to repeat the same nonsense that was used for health city many years back….a project full of empty promises….some lessons are never learnt.
    pity we can’t say what the real purpose for these investment schemes is….

  19. Anonymous says:

    What I want to know is when are they announcing the monorail?

    • Anonymous says:

      It will crash on the very first day.
      You are talking about something that requires different mentality (to start with).
      Maintaining working parking lot meters is like a rocket science in Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Like the helicopter, Cayman Airways, Mrcu planes all maintained Nd mostly locally crewed… Oh the foreign crewed helicopter crashed… Eat that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Original post refers to a Simpsons show episode and highlights the absurdity of buying into grand ideas without proper due diligence. Kind of like the ice skating arena, Ironwood, Turtle farm, hot air balloons, bridge from West Bay to Rum Point etc.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Am I missing something or is there anything in this diatribe that states when the project will actually start?

  21. Mike says:

    Every day another hospital is to built,are people here really that sick?

    • Anonymous says:

      Google words ‘medical tourism ‘ please. It brings a lot of income. Including hotel stay over. Thank you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I theory.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:23 Health City just said a few days ago how far below projections they’ve been on medical tourism. 70% projected but only about 40% achieved. Doesn’t sound like “it brings a lot of income”. As far as hotel, many of the child patients that are brought in are hosted by churches or local residents and involves zero money spent on hotel or food or anything.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, and Health City has several buildings with hotel rooms for families of patients. There is a restaurant/pub and grocery store on site. I very much doubt any ‘medical tourist’ spends much outside of those grounds. Perhaps a rental car.

    • Anonymous says:

      No we just dont want to be killed in GT hospital.

    • Anonymous says:

      have you seen the dump?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hardly recognize him..

  23. Anonymous says:

    Another hospital with 90% of its staff foreign labor all from ONE COUNTRY!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      At least, that “one country” produces people that are well mannered and civilized; and don’t have a massive chip on their shoulder!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know why you all berate a hospital that has saved countless lives, two that I personally know and provided treatment that we would have had to travel to Miami for treatment.
        Show some gratitude people…SMH…

      • Anonymous says:

        4;57 am, you are 1000 % right about those nice people at Health City, lots and lots difference than majority at the Government Hospital.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope they will grant 50% of them status then say it’s 75% Caymanians working there and then their children will attend the Medical University as the “Caymanians”.

      Only on Cayman…

      • Anonymous says:

        6:31 am, that would be great to grant them status. They are professionals nice people and needed here in these islands

  24. Anonymous says:

    It’s great to see this happening. Maybe now instead of the current substandard medical school, we’ll get a very highly rated one and locals that want to become Doctors will get the opportunity to do so.
    As for the current MS, the foreign owners who make millions a year and put nothing back into the island, don’t commit to their obligations giving scholarships to locals will close.
    As for the MS housing, that should be looked at as well, from what I’ve heard, they do daily, monthly rentals to private individuals and don’t pay any sort of hotel tax.
    In fact I know serveral persons that have quarantined there (cash only).

    Back to Gene, good for you sir and congrats.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is so amazing. This facility will save the public purse millions of dollars and save lives.

    Thank Aster and PPM.

    Vote very smart. Stick with who you know

    • Anonymous says:

      We planning on having a lot of sick people in the Cayman Islands. Is there no end to politricks and greed?

    • Anonymous says:

      seriously…you do realize that this is not for Caymanians?..maybe for them to pay their hospital bills..

      Remember Health City said they were going to do a school too. This is all crap to get concessions from Government.

      Wait and see how many Caymanians are going to be working there. With 3 Indian hospitals this place will start looking like a little India with all the people coming here from there to take up the jobs.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sounds great. Not holding my breath, though. I’m filing it next to Ironwood Golf Development for now.

  27. Anonymous says:

    More bad deals from the same regime that allows DART bi-weekly approvals for new projects without needing to complete or satisfy any previous criteria. Gene Thompson and Devi Shetty should not have been granted either new campus, until they organized and paid back the developmental waivers granted from HCCI’s unfulfilled East End project, and all the related public money wasted supporting that infrastructure. They now get a free pass to walk away from millions of dollars in previous hustles, only to be given the green light to start spinning new ones. How dumb are we?

  28. Again we see an un-balanced approach to development in this country. This will increase traffic congestion in this area and only benefit property owners and developers on SMB. The elected government has failed the eastern districts once more. Vote Smart

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