MEDICAL TOURISM IN CAYMAN

Health City, Cayman’s newest and most modern medical facility, has been making waves with its progressive approach to health and medicine. Captive Insight caught up with Shomari Scott, Marketing Director for Health City Cayman Islands to discuss their philosophy, their positioning and their plans.

Can you provide us with a little on the history of the company and its overall philosophy?

Health City, Cayman’s newest and most modern medical facility, has been making waves with its progressive approach to health and medicine. Captive Insight caught up with Shomari Scott, Marketing Director for Health City Cayman Islands to discuss their philosophy, their positioning and their plans. Health City Cayman Islands is the vision of renowned heart surgeon and former physician to Mother Teresa, Dr Devi Shetty. Dr Devi Shetty believes ‘A solution is not a solution unless it is affordable’. It is, therefore, the mission of Health City to provide compassionate, high-quality, yet affordable healthcare services to all – no-one’s socio-economic status should determine their access to healthcare.

Health City Cayman Islands is supported by two major healthcare organisations with the same values Narayana Health and the U.S.-based Ascension. Narayana Health is one of the world’s most cost-efficient healthcare service providers, balancing quality healthcare with affordability, transparency and compassion. Ascension is the largest faith-based and largest non-profit health system in the United States, dedicated to transforming healthcare by providing high-quality care to all, but with a special focus on the poor and vulnerable.

Health City offers specialised healthcare services to both local and international patients in our world-class, state-of-the-art facility in East End, Grand Cayman. Just one short year after opening, Health City received the gold seal of approval from Joint Commission International, which is tantamount to the standard of care available to Health City patients.

 Why did Dr. Shetty choose Cayman for Health City?

The Cayman Islands is an ideal place for a healthcare facility such as Health City, as Grand Cayman is only a one-hour direct flight from mainland USA (Miami), as well as accessible from Canada, UK, and the Caribbean region. It is English-speaking, safe and stable and has world-class infrastructure. It is also an idyllic island on which to recuperate after surgery.

What has been developed so far – what kinds of medicine are being practised? What is fully operational and what is in the works?

Health City Cayman Islands delivers excellence in adult and paediatric cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiothoracic surgery, orthopaedics and sports medicine, paediatric endocrinology, pulmonology and executive health checks. Recently added services include neurosurgery and spinal surgery, medical oncology (cancer treatment), a sleep lab, a blood bank with apheresis and bariatric/GI surgery. In 2016, Health City will be adding radiation and cancer surgery to our offering.

A solution is not a solution unless it is affordable.

Health City is not just about affordable healthcare, it’s about sustainability too. From the design of the hospital which allows for lots of natural light, for both doctors and patients, the recycling of grey water for the tranquil gardens, to a planned solar farm and salt water air conditioning system, Health City Cayman Islands strives to be eco-friendly for the environment, and cost-effective at the same time.

What are the plans for future development – both in terms of building/infrastructure and new areas of medicine?

The future looks bright for Health City with plans already underway to further expand the facility to a 2000 bed facility (over the next decade), along with an adjoining hotel for patients to stay before their procedures or for family members. The hotel is expected to feature around 185 rooms with an anticipated opening date of quarter one 2017.

Health City is also in the process of starting our residential and commercial development in early 2016 and is in the early stages of design on our retirement assisted-living community. In addition, it is in the planning stages of an IT development which will support our vision of a technology innovation centre and plans to build a medical education campus, which is expected to start within the 2017-2018 timeframe.

What are the benefits of having patients come to Cayman for treatment?

From a patient’s perspective, receiving treatment at Health City Cayman Islands provides cost-savings, no wait time for surgeries, and superior outcomes and recovery owing to the highly skilled surgeons at Health City. Plus, the Cayman Islands is the perfect place to recuperate and relax the following surgery with its tranquil and safe environment.

From the Cayman Islands perspective, Health City provides a revenue opportunity in the form of medical tourism. Owing to its affordability and specialist high-quality care, it has become a destination of choice when considering surgery, for international patients, as well as local.

What is ‘medical tourism’ and where are the growth opportunities? What are the obstacles?

Medical tourism is the term used to describe people travelling outside their home country for medical treatment. The benefits of international patients travelling to Health City Cayman Islands include:

  • access to specialised treatment
  • affordability
  • high quality
  • immediate service (no wait-list)
  • travel (vacation)

Uncertainty with global economies and heightened healthcare competition can result in some obstacles within medical tourism. However, these can be overcome with high standards of care and facilities, as well as affordability and Health City manages this by providing specialised treatment offered by doctors who are leaders in their fields with more hours of surgery than most other doctors. In addition, owing to the streamlined cost-efficiencies at Health City, the healthcare costs are generally one-third less than the US equivalent, making it a very appealing option for international patients.

Is there anything else you want to share about Health City or what has happened or is planned?

In line with the vision and mission of making healthcare accessible to all, Health City, in partnership with Have a Heart Foundation, has provided free life-saving surgeries to over 30 young patients in the Caribbean region.

Health City also supports many local charitable organisations, in particular, the Cayman Heart Fund, Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association.

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