Health City Cayman Islands announced plans last month to move forward with an expansion of its Grand Cayman facilities with the construction of a US$100 million, 70,000-square-foot medical campus at Camana Bay.
The new hospital is expected to not only elevate medical and surgical care in the Cayman Islands, but also increase medical tourism and bolster the real estate market for those looking for second homes.
In agreement with Dart, the hospital will be called Health City Camana Bay and will be located to the south of the recently expanded Cayman International School, at the intersection of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and the new Airport Connector Road.
The facility is estimated to take 12 to 18 months to complete, contributing economic stimulation both during construction and post-construction. During construction, Health City Cayman Islands will open the already planned smaller, satellite location in Camana Bay. The services offered in this location will be integrated within the new facility when it is complete.
Health City Cayman Islands Chief Business Officer Shomari Scott said expanding to where the majority of the population lives and works allows for better logistics and treatment for patients, especially when dealing with oncology and palliative care.
“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 for our community.”
The planned modern medical campus will become the first hospital in the region to offer bone marrow transplantation and CAR-T Cell therapy. The advanced oncology department will include medical oncology, hemato-oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology.
The hospital will also include a robust multi-speciality programme that includes robotic surgery, a neonatal intensive care unit, emergency pavilion and critical care.
Scott said the expanded offerings will reduce and, in some cases, eliminate the need for travelling off island to receive high-quality medical care.
“The opening of our Camana Bay campus will mean we have all specialities and sub-specialities covered, and all of the resources available to get the best care and best possible outcomes for our patients," Scott said. “We are confident that the new facilities will help close healthcare accessibility gaps, provide robust healthcare security and radically improve medical outcomes for the people of the Cayman Islands both in the immediate future and in the years to come.”
Dr Binoy Chattuparambil, clinical director and senior cardiac surgeon at Health City Cayman Islands, said having a campus close to where the majority of people on Grand Cayman 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," he said. "Hours, minutes and seconds matter, so being centrally located will add much benefit to the quality of life and saving of many others."
As part of its commitment to the Cayman Islands, Health City is also intending to increase its presence in the Sister Islands with the opening of an office in Cayman Brac. Health City physicians will provide much needed accessible specialist healthcare and alleviate the need for patients to travel to Grand Cayman for outpatient follow-ups and checkups.
Dart Chief Executive Officer Mark VanDevelde said the project aligns with Dart’s established track record of successful partnerships investing in innovations in healthcare, education and infrastructure that benefit the wider community.
“Dart is pleased to welcome Health City, a world leader in patient-focused medical care, to Camana Bay,” VanDevelde said. “Health City’s decision to build their new campus at Camana Bay reflects our shared belief in the importance of planning for the long term and investing in ways that improve the lives of current and future generations."
VanDevelde said the planned hospital, along with continued growth in Camana Bay, the remediation of the landfill and the work on the new Airport Connector Road, is further testament to the private sector’s confidence in the country.
"The benefits of this type of collaboration between private and public sectors include economic activity, STEM education and training, and diversification of career opportunities," he said.
Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin said the government was pleased to support Health City’s medical campus expansion.
“This is a multimillion-dollar investment in Cayman — a powerful signal of confidence in its economic growth,” he said. “This project will be of great benefit to the community both in terms of the services it will provide and also with regards to employment opportunities it will offer.”
Cayman Islands Minister of Health Dwayne Seymour said the project was a major step in ensuring all Caymanians and residents of Cayman, regardless of geography, had access to a sustainable healthcare system.
“Health City Cayman Islands continues to be a great partner for the government in helping us achieve our vision to provide affordable, world-class healthcare for our people," he said. "We are pleased to support the proposed medical campus, which will allow us to expand the country’s healthcare security, increase the services offered within the islands and elevate the facilities both at home and throughout the Caribbean.”
Health City Cayman Islands is not requesting any additional concessions outside of its original agreement with the Cayman Islands government, and the services the expansion will provide continue to fall within the scope of the previously planned phases.
Scott noted that in its seven years of operation, Health City Cayman Islands has already created substantial economic impact with its medical tourism activities as a result of patients visiting from the United States, Canada, Central America and the wider Caribbean. The expansion to Camana Bay, which is more conveniently located to where most visitors would prefer to stay, is expected to build on medical tourism.
Premier McLaughlin said that since 2009, successive governments have worked to make Cayman the destination of choice for healthcare within the region.
"We see this as perhaps the most reliable form of tourism there is because people get sick in good times and in bad," he said. "We see this as perhaps that elusive third leg of the economy that we've been searching for as long as we can remember."
In addition to boosting medical tourism, McLaughlin said that the new medical campus, which expands and improves the medical care on Grand Cayman, will also help the real estate market.
"It will help attract investment from those looking for a second home outside of their own country, a sector of the real estate market that has been buoyed by the pandemic," he said. "Many of those future residents require the comfort that comes with knowing they are living in a place with a robust healthcare offering and one in particular that has a high level of expertise in cardiology and stroke care."
This article appears in print in the March 2021 edition of Camana Bay Times, written by Alan Markoff.
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