Letters to the Editor: Most happy with hospital’s services

We
write in response to the article, which appeared on the front page of the
Caymanian Compass on Wednesday, 26th May, titled ‘Holiday hell for tourist’.
The story concerned the admission of Mrs. Dana Engel, a US tourist, to the
Cayman Islands Hospital for a suspected kidney stone.

We
understand that the story has caused some public concern about the service
levels offered by the Health Services Authority in Cayman since it first
appeared in the Winona Daily News and was subsequently picked up by local
media.

We
felt it important to respond to recent media coverage of the incident, to
reassure international visitors to our Islands as well as local residents,
about the service levels offered by the Cayman Islands Health Services
Authority.

The
patient privacy laws by which medical practitioners in the Cayman Islands are
governed rightly prevent us from entering into a public discussion about the
details of Mrs. Engel’s case. The HSA makes every effort to abide by these laws
and is pleased to do so to protect the privacy of its patients and their right
to confidentiality.

Upon
receiving news of Mrs. Engel’s case the HSA immediately reached out to her and
her husband in an effort to resolve their concerns. Direct contact was
immediately made with the couple who were encouraged to provide their account
of the incident such that the matter could be investigated swiftly and
thoroughly. That investigation is now under way. In every case where a concern
is brought to our attention, it is a standard protocol for the HSA to conduct a
thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident and the
level of service the patient concerned received whilst in our care.

The
Cayman Islands Hospital has a long history of providing positive experiences to
its patients. Its staff and management strive at all times to provide patients
with the highest standards of clinical care. The feedback we have received from
our patients attests to this, such as the 93 per cent of respondents who stated
they were satisfied or very satisfied with our levels of patient care in the
2006/2007 Cayman Islands National Assessment of Living Conditions report. That
regional cruise-lines regularly recognise the Cayman Islands hospital as a
preferred medical facility is further testimony to the good standing of our
hospital among its users.

We
regret that Mr. and Mrs. Engel’s reported experience of the Cayman Islands
Hospital was not in line with the HSA’s usually reported high standards of
patient care and the high quality services we seek ourselves to deliver at all
times to our patients.

We
welcome all the feedback we receive from our patients and value it as an
opportunity to help us raise our standards yet further in pursuit of excellence
in patient care and total satisfaction among those who use our services. We are
confident that the strict procedures we have in place to respond to our
patients’ concerns will enable us to determine what happened in the case of Mr.
and Mrs. Engel, remedy any issues and draw the matter to a swift and satisfactory
conclusion.

Mark
Scotland, Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports & Culture

Mrs.
Lizzette Yearwood, chief executive officer, Health Services Authority