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By Kevin Morales

Budding healthcare hub good for patients and providers

Man laughing

When Cayman Brac resident Conrad Martin learned he had prostate cancer, discussions with his doctor immediately went to treatment options.

He needed radiation therapy. He was told the United States would be his best bet.
Problem was, Martin couldn’t leave for that long. His wife’s fading health means he's her primary caregiver. Having her travel with him was not a good option, but Martin was unsure what other choice he had.

“I was in the works of getting something arranged to go to the States when I got some information that Health City would soon be having a radiation centre,” he said.

Fast forward a few months, and the opening of the Gene Thompson Radiation Oncology Centre meant Martin could receive world-class care with cutting-edge medical equipment and didn't need his passport to get there.

So for seven and a half weeks, Martin hopped on a plane in the Brac, flew to Grand Cayman to receive treatment and then then flew back to the Brac in the evening.

“They didn’t think I could do it,” Martin said. “It satisfied me knowing that I could do [treatment] in Grand Cayman and then get back to the Brac every evening.

“I was glad I could do it that way and it worked out real good. I’m really proud of the decision I made to come there.”

The Gene Thompson Radiation Oncology Centre, which opened earlier this year, is part of the larger Health City at Camana Bay hospital slated to open next year. Recently announced plans for a nearby Centre for Health and Wellness mean a budding healthcare community growing on Camana Bay's southern end.

“The patient should always be at the forefront of healthcare decisions,” said Health City Cayman Islands Chief Business Officer Shomari Scott.

“Over 70% of the population lives and works in George Town. With further growth of this healthcare community, patients will have more options for their healthcare, enjoy increased convenience as their travel and waiting times will decrease, and benefit from the best available care."

The Gene Thompson centre features the latest medical technology like a Siemens TruBeam Varian Linear Accelerator, the first of its kind in this jurisdiction and one of the most advanced in the region. It’s part of the new $100-million, 70,000-square-foot Health City at Camana Bay medical campus slated to open next year.

The three-story purpose-built Centre for Health and Wellness will be just a few steps away, forming a state-of-the-art healthcare hub.

“When I first heard about Camana Bay’s Centre for Health and Wellness, I immediately thought of the many advances we have made in healthcare in the Cayman Islands,” Scott said. “Seeing the evolution of healthcare in Cayman overall, from a small island with just a few facilities, to now boasting the best collection of healthcare facilities and experts in the region, and in many cases on par with the best in the world, it’s nothing short of mind-blowing.”

While this growing medical community will offer greater convenience and access to top-of-the-line medical facilities for patients, there’s also a benefit for the medical practitioners. The Centre for Health and Wellness aims to bring a variety of experts and practitioners together under one roof, leading to increased cohesion and cooperation between healthcare providers.

“Providing effective healthcare requires, I feel, a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Healthcare practitioners don’t, or shouldn’t, operate in silos,” Scott said.

“Having this cohesive network of providers will facilitate greater collaboration, knowledge exchange and efficiency, and ultimately strengthen the healthcare network here in the Cayman Islands.”

For Scott, it’s a win-win situation that ultimately will raise the bar for healthcare for Cayman’s residents.

This article was originally featured in the December 2023/January 2024 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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