Today’s Editorial January 08: Refreshing ideas for HSA

It is refreshing to read the words from our newest Health Services Administration Director Dr. Greg Hoeksema on today’s front page.

He has arrived in the Cayman Islands with some forward looking ideas to help give the HSA the boost it needs.

We wish him luck.

It sounds like he is going to be just what the doctor ordered in terms of getting the hospital and organisation under control.

Whether true or not, the perception – according to a online poll in October – is that the majority of the population in the Cayman Islands doesn’t have much confidence in the HSA.

That’s unfortunate, but it is something that can be fixed.

With Mr. Hoeksema’s US Navy background as a doctor and administrator around the world, it would appear that he has the discipline and knowledge to help pull the HSA out of the mire the organisation has found itself in.

For starters, Mr. Hoeksema has to come up with a way to make the HSA economically viable.

Unfortunately there is a mindset in the Cayman Islands that Caymanians don’t need to pay for health care, so many people don’t.

They expect to go to the hospital, see a doctor, get treatment and walk out the door without ever shelling out one dollar for the service.

That mindset has to be changed and innovative ways must be found for not only collecting old debt but for generating income.

We welcome Mr. Hoeksema’s eagerness to meet with overseas medical facilities in an effort to draw patients from other countries in the region.

It is possible that the Cayman Islands could, one day, become a medical tourism destination, drawing in patients for specialized care, adding even more to the coffers of the HSA.

We welcome Mr. Hoeksema and his ideas.

We do hope, though, that he doesn’t get caught up in the politics that past directors have found themselves in and eventually out of a job.

Mr. Hoeksema needs to be able to do his job without threat. The HSA must become a viable, self-sustaining organisation whose mission it is to provide the best medical care at the lowest cost possible.

It’s a big order to fill, but we think Mr. Hoeksema has the right prescription.