Editorial for July 27: Medical tourism demands best

It would appear the Cayman Islands
has gotten the attention of the medical industry in the United States.

All of a sudden groups are coming
out of the wood work with plans to tap into the medical tourism market that
Cayman is trying to grow.

There is even a medical tourism
conference planned for next February on Grand Cayman. The plan is to attract
medical professionals from throughout the Caribbean region.

It all started last year when
Government signed a pact with Dr. Devi Shetty of India to build a 2,000-bed
hospital in Cayman.

We haven’t heard too much more
about the Shetty hospital proposal – like where it’s going to go – but we do
know Government is offering some perks and concessions to get the hospital
built.

Now developers of other proposed
medical tourism facilities are holding their hands out to Government hoping for
the same kind of concessions.

The agreement also states that no
non-Caymanian can set up a large scale medical tourism facility in Cayman for
five years after the Shetty operation has begun.

We think that’s why and Health
Practice Commission is being swamped with applications from people interested
in setting up medical establishments on Grand Cayman.

We say bring them on, but do it
cautiously.

The finance industry  has thrived and survived in the Cayman
Islands because it is tightly regulated and not just any fly-by-night operation
can set up shop here.

The same care needs to be taken
with the development of medical tourism.

Any medical facilities that we
allow to open in the Cayman Islands have to be above board and extremely
professional. Government also has to ensure that there is proper infrastructure
in place to take care of the expected thousands of tourists and their families
who would come here and take advantage of our premium medical facilities.

Whatever our medical tourism sector
looks like, we have to make sure that those who travel here for the services
are treated well in all aspects of their visit.

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