Location choice a lesson for Health City

| 22/02/2021 | 70 Comments
Cayman News Service
HCCI Chief Business Officer Shomari Scott at Friday’s press briefing

(CNS): The Health City Cayman Islands management team has no regrets about opening the state-of-the-art hospital in East End but the location has proved to be the biggest lesson learned since the hospital opened seven years ago, Shomari Scott, the chief business officer at HCCI, said Friday. And so, with plans for a new state-of-the-art facility, this second hospital is going to be much closer to its patients.

At a press conference to announcing plans for a CI$100 million, cutting-edge facility for cancer treatment, which will be the first hospital in the region to offer bone marrow transplantation and CAR-T cell therapy, Scott said that expanding to where most people live and work allows for better treatment, especially when dealing with oncology.

“We understand the burden placed on patients who need to travel back and forth to East End for their care,” he said. “We want and need to make healthcare easier, more comfortable and more convenient.” Scott added that HCCI had “provided life-changing and life-saving medical care for the people of the Cayman Islands for nearly seven years” and that investing in a new hospital “is a reflection of our unwavering commitment” to the islands.

The advanced oncology department will include medical oncology, hemato-oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology. The hospital will also include a robust multi-specialty programme that will include robotic surgery, a neonatal intensive care unit, an emergency pavilion and critical care.

Dr Binoy Chattuparambil, HCCI Clinical Director and Senior Cardiac Surgeon, said that having a campus close to where the majority of people live and work would mean more lives saved, both adults and children. 

“There are many incidences where time plays a significant role in the outcome of a treatment or even the life of a patient; heart attack, stroke and polytrauma are typical examples where time is life. Hours, minutes and seconds matter, so being centrally located will add much benefit to the quality of life and saving of many others,” he said.

“Our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will mean far fewer babies will have to travel overseas. Transporting a baby that requires urgent advanced medical care carries significant risk and can have a definitive adverse outcome, as time is very precious for these babies,” he added. “A facility close to George Town will greatly improve the outcome for these newborns.”

Even before the pandemic, less than 40% of HCCI patients were from overseas, and the hospital has found itself catering more and more to the local market, which has eliminated the need for patients living in Cayman to seek expensive care in the United States. Scott said that as a result, the need to be closer to the population has become very clear over the years since the East End facility opened.

HCCI founder Dr Devi Shetty, who joined the briefing via Zoom, said the goal of attracting patients from overseas remains but that the original protections of more than three-quarters of their patients being medical tourists was an estimate, and were made at a time when the team did not understand the realities on the ground. But now, with more experience, the new facility will enable Health City to offer a full suite of services and increase its attraction to those seeking affordable quality healthcare from all over the region.

Health City has not asked for any additional concessions outside of its original agreement and the services the expansion will provide continue to fall within the scope of the previously planned phases. The facility is estimated to take 12 to 18 months to complete, creating new jobs and contributing to economic stimulation both during construction and post-construction.

The hospital will be on Dart land but it is not clear whether HCCI will be buying or leasing that land. Scott said that the two parties were coming to an arrangement, and described Dart’s relationship with the hospital as a brand partnership rather than a tangible deal.

Health City is also intending to increase its presence in the Sister Islands with the opening of a clinic on Cayman Brac. HCCI physicians will provide much needed accessible specialist healthcare and alleviate the need for patients to travel to Grand Cayman for outpatient follow-ups and check-ups.

During construction of the new medical campus, Health City Cayman Islands will open a small satellite location within Camana Bay, for which it has already earmarked clinical space. This space will be integrated within the larger proposed facility when it is complete. 

See the press briefing below:


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (70)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All you geniuses should put your money together and build a hospital where you think it should go if you’re so smart, instead of criticizing other people who actually have a track record of getting something up and running. Only Caymanians could complain about getting a new cancer hospital.

  2. Anonymous says:

    thank god dart is invloved inthis proposal…
    ee health city was a pie in the sky ‘scheme’ that never was never viable. XXXX

  3. Anonymous says:

    where else in the worls would a 30 min drive be the deciding factor where a hospital should be?
    by this logic all people and business should now relocate to gt…….zzzzz

  4. Anonymous says:

    For 100 million they could build the monorail to East End.

  5. The Real Bush Man.. says:

    Dart not going to stop until get that landfill site in George Town!

    I have a FEW question for the outgoing Coalition government, When Heath City is built, what are the plans for the George Town Hospital? are you going to be out sourcing the service of the George Town Hospital to health city? Will the Government be partnering with Health City, by Subsiding the hospital for those who cant afford treatment. Their is enough evidence here, to prove what kind of mission this coalition government is on, and that is to PRIVATISED the Health Care of the island. Ok! lets say I am drifting, with my thoughts here, what other reasonable explanation could there be? Health City is proud to confirm that they have 40% of the local business, moving it closer will sure eat up the other 50%, and not forget Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital which I am sure as 10-15% of the local George Town Hospital Business.

    So coalition government what are you up to? In addition to all of this, is what DART wants, and that’s our Landfill ! Mr. Scot stated and quote: “relationship with the hospital as a brand partnership rather than a tangible deal” unquote! So it appears that the government is willing to sell out the Health Care of the Island in order to provide an argument to sell the landfill to “DART” in order for dart to realized his dream.

    The only thing stopping “Dart” and those that follow him are the Landfill. Once he is able acquire that, there will be no stopping him.

    I can see breathing facilities for crew ship going, I can see him petitioning the (Government) for police and fire service, heck, create his own.

    Who is willing to stop this hostile take over of our resource? who is willing to say enough is enough!

    Most of all, who will stand up for George Town, are we going to allow TWO George Towns.

    Mr. Scott, I would like to speak to your “Conscience” you really believe what you and Health City is proposing is the way forward? 2) Are you willing to allow our George Town, to become waste and barren landscape?

    Coalition Government this the easy way out, sell out and leave the people who voted for you to fend for themselves, tell them, it create jobs, not suitable jobs! banks don’t give you Mortgages on two years of work.

    Why is so hard for you all to create laws to re-purpose George Town instead of selling out our history.

    Where is the UK, Government to step in and stop one Man from having so much power over a small Nation.

    Is there someone out there to say enough is enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      Guessing you live downwind, probably not that far away. Fumes affecting your mental faculties.

      • The Real Bush Man says:

        So because of little “stink” wind you are willing to sell the land. Come on, I am sure you are brighter than that! Listen! the Dump is Cayman own, and should be Cayman problem, not Mr. Dart. Do you believe Mr. Dart does anything for just cause? I think not! What he and those around him is doing is using that Hospital Has Bait, to force the Minister to signed that “deed” and Prime real-estate over. If Dart can get can dispose of Rubbish” in that dump, then I don’t see why The Cayman Islands Government can’t do the same. What we need to do is stop looking for easy way out, and button-up lock our eyes, and get down to business. instead we are quick to sell off! But when we do, WE CAN’T CALL IT OUR OWN ANYMORE” and I don’t mean the dump! With that piece of Parcel, DART will be able to control what’s left of Cayman.. If you don’t Believe me, just check why the Government still have not signed over that deed.. because They Know.. But here come DART the SPIDER” with his bag full of tricks..

    • Anonymous says:

      7.38 GT hospital will change it’s name to what it already is Kingston Public hospital where no-one pays for anything.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I need specialist cardiac surgery but I really don’t want to travel more than 10 minutes from home. Said no one ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rich ppl problems they say

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are having a heart attack or a stroke, you don’t really get to choose, and time is critically important. Tin any case, this is about a cardiac facility (at least, not yet) in GT, its about oncology. I dint really wat to travel an hour each way for my frequent chemotherapy sessions, especially when I feel like shit after the chemo, said every chemo patient ever.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This move to camana is for 2 reasons:
    1) medical tourism at 25% of US prices was a scam idea – made up pie in the sky that was doomed and all the revenue comes from locals
    2) Stop Astor group – a set of Indian doctors from Dubai want to use the Gene lobby to muscle in and claim GT medical business – another ‘medical tourism’ and duty waiver scam.
    XXXX
    Cayman is being taken for a ride – the EE hospital will eventually close and the GT survive exclusively treating locals

    • Anonymous says:

      How is investing tens of millions in building a hospital and employing hundreds of people and in return not paying some duty on some of the things you buy a scam? It literally costs you 5 times more than the duty you save.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman. An island that still cranks out a high percentage of uneducated students seems to have the most unemployed experts at doing everything. Everything but running the island competently. Only a true fool would listen so they get lots of thumbs up here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bingo! No serious business person would invest that kind of money without doing their research about the proposed business idea and they wouldn’t have needed more than one hour to figure out that low cost health care in one of the most expensive places in the world where the health insurers are the same ones as in the USA was not a good money making plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well Health City was named a ‘City’ because shetty promised it would include a medical school , assisted living , hotels etc . XXXX
      The worst thing is that to keep costs low the initial group of doctors have been replaced by cheaper less experienced staff.
      Caymanians will be subject to a liability cap of $500k which the CI govt gave away. What needs to happen is a class action against Shetty / repeal the $500k CAP.

  8. anon says:

    At the rate we are going with new hospitals, we are going to be deluged with used syringes on our lovely beaches.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This Hospital was developed to cater to “health tourism” a bit like Thailand and some other South Eastern Asian countries, where costs are low. They were given huge concessions by the Government of the time and all their “medical staff” got Licences to practice here without having to at least have similar qualifications that are the norm in Europe and America. The location on this little piece of rock is immaterial. The facts is they have failed in their primary objective and now Government want to prolong their stay in this country that already has three good hospitals. Presumably, Health City won’t survive the loss of business to going to their new operation and perhaps, will become a “old folks home” or retirement centre.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The miscalculation that Shetty and his crew made was that almost all USA citizens over the age of 65 have medicare, which does not pay for medical procedures outside of the USA. Medicare will only pay for emergencies up to US$ 20,000 in foreign countries.
    Many patients who need coronary artery bypass, angioplasties and
    heart valve replacements are over 65.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Best news ever, two options for a curry without having to leave Camana Bay.

  12. Anonymous says:

    My children have been going to health city for 5 years. Horrible service and lack of care for you as a returning client.

  13. George Townie says:

    Can’t believe a cancer treatment hospital next to Mt. Trashmore … Am I the only one..

  14. Anonymous says:

    I worked there. It was a shit show from the very begining. We all knew when the main Indian investors left about 2years ago it was downhill from there.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Ravi Kishore at Health City, literally saved my life, so I have nothing but praise for their operation and their doctors. For them to be bringing cutting edge oncology treatment and a neonatal intensive care unit to Cayman, is great news for us all.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Given the fact that every time I go to HC, it is bustling with patients etc. I find the “lesson” to be very weak.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Location, Location, Location…

    It shouldn’t have been that hard to figure this shit out in the first place.

    Rode the government initiate, got all the concessions, entered the local market, now moving to SMB with the benefit of a government-sponsored business already operating in EE.

    • Say it like it is says:

      3.55pm They take us for fools all along the intention was to compete in the local market, we swallowed the “medical tourist” bait hook line and sinker and gave them all the concessions and even changed the law to allow their doctors in.So what is Dr Shetty’s estimate for “medical tourists” now, after swamping the local market with his new facility aimed at locals.

      • Anonymous says:

        I hope you never have a heart attack or stroke and have to travel 40 minutes instead of 15 minutes To save your life

  18. Anonymous says:

    Location a challenge???? Oh please. This is nothing more than an attempt to frighten off the other hospital from coming in that area, to directly compete.

  19. I find that comment regarding location ignorant to the facts and beg to differ. The necessary investment in road infrastructure (East West arterial) was simply not made in the Eastern Districts and instead concentrated in GT/SMB. The truth is more of a case of DART wanting key services in Camana Bay which is necessary for the development to continue as a Town Centre. We cannot continue to develop only certain parts of Cayman but rather adopt a more balanced approach that brings equal opportunities for all districts.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 100% people can go overseas for treatment but cant drive 30 minutes. I thought the reason HCCI was located in EE was to alleviate traffic congestion. I smell a rat. Dont get me wrong HCCI is an asset to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      And really FFS, 30 min is nothing to travel in the real world.

    • Anonymous says:

      3:29 I think you are saying that should be DART JOB TOO!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Health City was supposed to be a medical tourism facility so patients were supposed to be flying in from overseas, which makes the distance between ORIA and EE minor compared to getting here. Health City also said it wasnt going to provide services that competed with those already provided by other hospitals but they are. Opening up in CB is the long planned Sea to Sound that has been developing over the last 10+ years. All needed is an emergency services facility and police services which I suspect soon come and CB will be a city. Nothing new to see here folks move a long.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not forget that HCCI professed that it was to be a licensed stand-alone medical tourism go-east “health city”, and received waivers for that express purpose, queried by PAC. A whole town was supposed to blossom around the facility, with an endless stream of eager USA customers. Offering Narayana template procedures at 20-45% of USA-based operations, they were hailed by Harvard Business School as the competitive answer to constraining USA medical insurance costs. Now admitting miscalculation, they aspire to expand into a competing domestic hospital closer to a resident patient market. If that’s the case, then fine, maybe Dr. Shetty and Gene Thompson, should pay back the waivers/favours, and repeal back the diminished liability limits in the medical practitioners law? Bad enough that they have been allowed access to the public donor blood bank supplies for use in discretionary for-profit surgeries, for people that don’t even live here. Now they want to compete with our western-qualified practitioners on a discounted price-model. Prioritizing fee-undercutting, ahead of all else, isn’t going to be good long term for the health and welfare of the people of Cayman – it becomes a race to the bottom as far as quality goes. We need to recognize when we’ve been had, and stop writing these open-ended blank cheques.

    PAC comments from 2017:
    https://caymannewsservice.com/2017/02/doctor-queries-purpose-of-shetty-hospital/

    • Anonymous says:

      Could you explain the relevant difference between Indian-qualified and “western-qualified” doctors, without recourse to racism?

      • Anonymous says:

        Degree cost for starters.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is mostly that the Indian degrees are considered lesser than Western ones, there is a lot of training and extra study needed to be able to practice in Western countries for Indian medicine based degrees, and that difference was waived so Indian practicioners, with less qualification, could operate in Cayman, but only for visitors (that was the original agreement). Google can provide more specifics if you need.

        • Anonymous says:

          An Indian GP ( not specialist ) sees hundreds of patients a day. With a very large population and limited hospitals , the clinical experience that the GP from India would have is incompatible elsewhere . All of that while maintAining the most upto date tree terement guidelines and standards in rescourse limited settings . Their patients are in very good hands .

          A doctor in north america would have never seen a rare case in real life , as you mentioned he will have to look it up on google !

      • anon says:

        3.57pm It’s not racist we had to change the law at Shetty’s request to permit his doctors to practice here.

      • Anonymous says:

        For a start: their educational system is literally third world standard (with maybe a hand full ok universities)

        Local CI doctors go through a vigorous credentialing process, which the HC doctors bypass due to the “deal” they made with the so called “institutional license”.

        India’s medical system is known for systematic fraud. Doe not come from me, nor is it racist, it’s a simple fact:

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-medicine-education-specialrepor-idUSKBN0OW1NM20150617

        There are countless reports on India’s cheating system. Simply google “india medical school cheating”

        The local population has no transparency of their medical performance and OUTCOME. All info received is through an elaborate marketing machine that bamboozles the local population. Instead of spending efforts to conquer the local market they should stick to their promise of being a medical TOURISM hospital.

        If HC would play by the rules, they would never survive. This move is another attempt to distract and create a new reality.

        • Anonymous says:

          Given that the article you cite quotes one expert as saying that India’s best medical schools are “absolutely world class”, your generalised description of their education system seems somewhat off. I’d hazard a guess that Shetty is able to be pretty selective about who they employ.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don’t dispute some of this, but wasn’t Health City part of the whole “Go East” idea?

    If we keep building up, jamming more people and services into the small narrow strip of land on the West side of the island we have no one to blame for the traffic congestion and other problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly 1:57. What Mr. Scott should be pointing out is the failure of the Government to live up to their promise to put in the infrastructure (road network).

      Given that the business model for HC was medical tourism, I would hazard a guess that our idea of a “long drive” is nothing compared to what they endure. After all, they aren’t coming from the Brac are they? The majority anyway….

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets build some low cost housing in Vista del Mar and Yacht Club so they get an idea of how real Caymanians have to live.

      • Anonymous says:

        You should have worked harder in school. Every law firm and accounting firm in Cayman are desperate to give out scholarships and retain Caymanian professionals to become partners.

        • Anonymous says:

          You really have no clue about the reality of Caymanian lives and the real discrimination we face in the workplace! Until you have walked in my summa cum laude university graduate with over 20 years experience shoes and seen what I have seen – please shut up and sit down!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Should invest in scheduled low cost shuttle service from, say, Camana Bay or wherever is plenty of parking, out to East End.

  24. Anonymous says:

    When a small island already has 3 full size hospitals, numerous pharmacies and labs as well as private physicians, and is going to build a 4th one, MEDICAL AND HAZARDOUS waste disposal becomes a serious business that must be legally regulated, monitored and enforced.

    New hospital must not be built until Hazardous/Medical waste regulations enacted and management system is up and running.

    As far as I know there is NO law governing the disposal of medical waste.
    There are no sites where medical waste is separated, neutralized and disinfected either.
    Medical waste tracking act doesn’t exist in Cayman either.
    An equivalent of OSHA that regulates many aspects of medical waste doesn’t exist.
    DOT rules to transport medial waste don’t exist either.
    Cayman equivalent of CDC that issues guidelines for infection control is outdated.
    There is no monitoring and enforcement of medical waste disposal cycle.

    In the US for example, EPA no longer plays a central role with medical waste management like it once did.

    There are also specific requirements (in the US)under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act for certain medical waste treatment technologies that use chemicals for treating the waste. Nothing like that exists in Cayman.

    And to remind you what exactly medical waste is and where it comes from, I am reposting this information:

    Examples of Sources of hazardous waste
    – Chemicals from diagnostic and experimental work
    – Cleaning and disinfecting compounds
    – Agents used for chemotherapy
    – Drugs that are no longer required
    – Waste from nuclear medicine

    Examples of Wastes
    – Formaldehyde (Haemodialysis)
    – Photographic fixing and developing solutions (X-ray Department)
    – Solvents and fixatives (Pathology or Histology Labs)
    – Engine or vacuum pump oils, solvents, degreasers (Facility Engineering)
    – Disinfectants, pesticides, rodenticides (Housekeeping)
    – Acids, alkalis or reducing agents (Laboratory)
    – Mercury (thermometers), cadmium (batteries), lead (Radiology)
    – Gases stored under high pressure, in cans or cylinders (Surgical Theater)
    – Ethylene oxide gas (Central Sterile Supply)
    – Expired drugs, cytotoxic drugs (Pharmacy, Chemotherapy Ward)

    Keep in mind, all of the above waste from existing medical facilities, pharmacies and doctors is already being disposed somewhere by someone, probably in violation of all, even basic, international standards.

    The proposed hospital would add a significant amount of extremely hazardous medical waste. And if they intend to burn it as they do it now in Health City, keep in mind, not all medical waste can be burned. Secondly, nobody monitors the emissions of Health City incinerator, because as DEH official had explained “… the regulations do not include the “guidelines indicating what pollutants one should test for”. In addition, the DEH does not have the “necessary equipment to allow for adequate monitoring of such emissions at this time”. As for when the DEH will be able to test for these emissions, “It is hoped that (the department) will be able to do so in the foreseeable future.”

    Public Health (Infectious Waste) Regulations (2002 Revision) was revised nearly 20 years ago and is outdated. I doubt many even aware of its existence.
    https://cnslibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/Public-Health-Infectious-Waste-Regulations-2002-Revision.pdf

    Public Health (Garbage and Refuse Disposal) Regulations (2011 Revision) don’t have provisions for medical waste and it is 10 years old. https://cnslibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/Public-Health-Garbage-and-Refuse-Disposal-Regulations-2011-Revision.pdf

    Public Health Law (2002 Revision) is also 20 years behind and doesn’t deal with medical waste.
    https://cnslibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/Public-Health-Law-2002-Revision.pdf

    So location choice must be the last thing on everybody’s mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read this WHO “Report on health-care waste management status in countries of the South-East Asia Region” and see where Cayman stands in comparison to the third world countries.

      “ Many countries report using open burning and incinerating in single-chamber incinerators as the major means of treating waste.” Sounds like Cayman to me.

      “A United Nationshuman rights expert noted that medical waste was becoming an increasing problem.”

      https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/1087970/retrieve

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent comment!!!

      I hope everyone running in the election reads this, educates themselves, and DOES SOMETHING.

      Cayman has been running as third world propagandizing themselves as first because they CAN.

      Disgusting.

      While you are at it, mandatory water ecoli testing needs to be done at ALL beach sites in cayman. Read this:

      https://cnslocallife.com/2019/05/caymans-waters-safe/

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent observation and advice!! Totally necessary! You should try to get that advice advanced to the “powers”. Or have you already tried?

      Wonder if any of the “powers” have read your post! Hmmm?

  25. Anonymous says:

    On one hand, I have had good treatment at Health City.

    On the other, they got a lot of public money and special permits, rules, concessions etc. based on two key purported benefits. The first being that this would fulfil the government policy of ‘Go East’ by starting a new employment centre in the east. The second being that they would draw medical tourism in from other countries and that would provide additional benefits to the Cayman economy (car rentals, hotel stays etc.)

    Given they are clear that neither of those two things are the goal anymore, I don’t believe they should get special treatment for the new hotel.

    • Anonymous says:

      The once very effective service at Shetty has become a thing of the past. Long delays for no reason at all, workers gossiping rather than working ..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Is this rock 22×4?

    Health City was built to cater international patients for whom location doesn’t really matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah. But its not really catering for international patients, is it? Which is why they are expanding in GT. Going to capture the local market in oncology and neo natal, no doubt followed by an expansion into obstetrics generally in the same way that Health City’s original premise of providing specialist cardiac surgery gradually expanded into other areas.

      • Anonymous says:

        what about cancer, premature labor and congenital disorders PREVENTION?
        Is anyone familiar with the word PREVENTION? It is not gala events to raise money. It is not running, walking, Movember or whatever to raise money.

        What is being done? NOTHING? What could be done? NOTHING, if environment poisoning continues at the current speed.

        P.S. It is not catering to international clients because Cayman is practically closed for travel.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would like to give a million likes to this comment. I want to know when they are going to do studies on why so many people are getting cancer.

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