The government has released the
agreement it drew up with Dr. Devi Shetty to build a US$2 billion hospital in
The agreement was not released at
the time the deal was signed at a press conference held by Indian heart surgeon
Mr. Shetty and government officials in April.
“As the agreement generated a great
deal public interest, Cabinet has decided to release it at this time in the
spirit of transparency,” Minister of Health Mark Scotland said.
The agreement, between Narayana Hrudayalaya Private Ltd. and the
government outlines a number of laws that the government has agreed to amend or
introduce to facilitate the hospital.
The Narayana Cayman University
Medical Centre will be built in phases over 10 years and which will include a
medical university and assisted living homes for seniors who can afford to live
The contract states that the
government will help the company with its rezoning application to secure 500
acres of land “in the eastern part of Grand Cayman”.
David Legge, spokesman for the
project, said Monday that a location had not yet been confirmed.
The first phase involves setting up
a 200-bed hospital costing approximately $150 million, not including the price
of the land. This will provide tertiary care currently unavailable in Cayman,
including open heart surgery, cancer treatment, bone marrow transplants,
nuclear medicine and organ transplant.
“Several other countries have
approached Mr. Shetty and offered him a variety of different incentive packages
to encourage him to build this project in their country – varying from a
50-year tax-free zone to actually constructing some buildings for him. As is common practice in many jurisdictions,
the Cayman Islands Government has offered some incentives to the developer to
tip the balance in our favour,” Mr. Scotland said.
“We believe very strongly that the
potential benefits to Cayman of this project are so significant, and will
benefit such a broad spectrum of our population, that it was important to do
what we could to secure the project here.
While the value of the concessions and the support we offer are considerable,
I believe that the advantages of the proposed project are equally significant,”
Under the deal, Caymanians referred
from the Health Services Authority will get a 20 per cent discount on surgeries
at the hospital.
The government has also undertaken
to upgrade the airport and to work with Cayman Airways to secure preferential
air fares for patients and relatives, as well as hospital staff and to provide
charter services for them.
Water will be provided at a
preferential rate for a set period of time, which was not specified in the
The agreement stipulates that preference
will be given to hire to local contractors and Caymanian employees.
It also states that the government
will ensure work permits and key employee status of staff will be processed in
a timely manner.
Work permit fees for medical
personnel employed at the new hospital would cost between 15 per cent and 30
per cent less than normal.
Patients and their relatives will
be granted a minimum of three months visitors’ visa upon arrival in Cayman.
The agreement also gives the
company a 20-year waiver of all taxes on profit, income, gains and
appreciations, regardless of whether the law changes to introduce taxes on
The company will be exempted from
paying customs or import duty on the first US$800 million it spends on
equipment and medical supplies. Once that US$800 million has been exhausted,
for the 15 years following that, its duty payments on equipment and supplies
will not exceed 5 per cent of the cost. In the 15 years following that period,
its duty payment will not exceed 10 per cent of the cost of equipment and
For the first 50 years of
operation, it will not pay duty on any life-saving equipment.
The government, in the agreement,
has undertaken to pass or amend laws to recognise qualifications of Indian
medical professionals and to enable them to practise in Cayman. Minister
Scotland said at last month’s press conference that other nationalities would
also be included in this stipulation.
The deal also commits the
government to amend or create laws that would limit malpractice and medical
negligence awards to a maximum of US$500,000 per person.
It also allows the importation of
human organs, tissues and body parts, including non-foetal stem cells, obtained
by lawful means for use at the hospital.
“Medical tourism is a
growing industry, and we already have all the attributes necessary for success
– an established tourism product, our geographical location for easy access by
American visitors, political stability, and a reputation as a safe destination
in the Caribbean. Not to act on it would be a missed opportunity,” Mr.Scotland