New diagnostic centre opens

A new diagnostic centre has opened on West Bay Road where patients can be diagnosed locally and quickly.

KY Imaging provides MRI, MRA, bone density, fluoroscopy, ultrasounds and a nuclear camera for cardiology tests.

The centre is owned by Rebecca Smith who founded Cayman Diagnostic in 1976 before going on to start and manage Cayman Medical and Surgical Centre which provided laboratory and radiology services before closing down after Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

She opened her latest venture at West Shore Plaza on Thursday night.

Two doctors, radiologist Dennis Rossi and neurologist and pain management specialist Gary Starkman, both from New York, will work out of the centre.

Although the centre officially opened on Thursday, both doctors have been working in Cayman for a while.

Dr. Rossi said in the past six weeks he had diagnosed four brain tumours, one brain abscess and one case of multiple sclerosis.

He said that in the US, 60 to 70 people per 1,000 get MRIs, but he believed the penetration of MRI testing to be far lower in Cayman. ‘I think the physicians have to be educated about the application and uses [of MRI], and when they are, they will be getting more examinations on more people.’

He said he had opened between 15 and 17 facilities since 1985, ‘but I have never been as excited as I am with this one. I really think we are going to do something good here.’

He said earlier diagnoses meant lower costs in the long run for patients, and for insurers and the government. ‘If you find something earlier and treat it, then the cost is lower.’

Minister of Health Mark Scotland was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

‘The opening of this centre is a positive development for the Cayman Island’s health sector,’ said Mr. Scotland.

He added that the centre offered a range of services that, until now, had not been available on the island.

‘With this new centre, our local population now has more options here at home,’ he said.

Mr. Scotland said KY Imaging would offer 24-hour turnaround of results, and with no more need to go overseas for certain kinds of testing, an earlier diagnosis meant people can get treatment sooner.

‘The medical care in the Cayman Islands is very good,’ said Dr. Rossi. ‘What we hope to do is complement and enhance the services to the people of the Cayman Islands.’

‘People in Cayman should not have to go offshore for all these services. We will do our best to keep them here in Cayman,’ he said.

After giving guests of the opening a tour of the facility, which boasts an MRI machine weighing 30 tons, among other hi-tech testing machinery, Dr. Starkman explained: ‘It’s one thing to start a new practice in the United States, but it’s quite another story to establish a service that does not exist. It’s very exciting.’

He said one of the biggest advantages of having a diagnostic and pain treatment centre on island was that patients would be able to have continuous care, from diagnosis to pain management on the same premises and not have to travel overseas and see different specialists and doctors each time.

‘Most of the time neurologists and pain specialists are not in the same premises. I combine the two,’ he said.

He added that patients would also benefit from not having to pay for flights overseas.