The Health Services Authority plans to establish a hospital foundation to help it with future capital acquisitions.
‘In many other jurisdictions within the Caribbean and North America, foundations are essential to the operation of many hospitals,’ said Health Minister Anthony Eden at the Cabinet press briefing last week.
Mr. Eden said HSA Chief Executive Officer Craig Brown was pursuing the foundation idea in order to help the Authority provide the highest level of medical care.
Mr. Brown said that foundations are very common for hospitals in the United States and Canada.
‘Foundations give them an additional arm to raise funds for capital needs,’ he said.
Mr. Brown called it ‘a never ending battle’ for a hospital to keep up with its equipment needs. A foundation would not only help the HSA acquire the equipment that will allow it to remain on the cutting edge of medical technology, but could also help fund a new hospital wing or other major expansion.
When a hospital wants to build a new wing in Canada, where Mr. Brown is from, he said the community is required to raise one-third of the construction cost. A foundation would normally spearhead that fundraising effort.
Donors to a foundation could include large corporations or individual donors. Mr. Brown said hospital wings are often named after an individual foundation patron that makes a large contribution toward the cost of such a capital expansion.
The hospital foundation would be established as a separate entity. Its board of directors would consist of board members from the HSA as well as others from the community, Mr. Brown said. However, the foundation would only have one purpose.
‘It would be structured to only raise funds for the hospital,’ he said.
The idea of a foundation for the hospital has already met with support by one local commercial entity.
‘One of the major banks has expressed strong support,’ Mr. Browns said. ‘I’m sure the very good nature in this country will bring a lot of support [for the foundation].’
In the United States and Canada, donors to a hospital foundation get tax breaks, which is problematic here in Cayman because of the absence of traditional taxes. Mr. Brown said the HSA would look into seeing what tax benefits could be offered to donors, particularly local companies with offices in taxable jurisdictions.
Regardless of any possible tax benefits for corporations, foundations offer tangible benefits to the general public.
‘They allow for a higher quality of medical care, so everyone benefits,’ Mr. Brown said.
A draft of the potential by-laws and structure of the foundation was already sent out to the HSA lawyers to review. Mr. Brown said he was hoping to have a final draft of the by-laws ready for presentation to the HSA board for its September meeting.
After the by-laws are agreed upon, Mr. Brown said the HSA would seek foundation board members from community.