Shetty agreement extended

Cabinet on Tuesday approved an extension of the 12-month agreement signed exactly a year ago with Dr. Devi Shetty about the proposed medical tourism hospital.

Health Minister Mark Scotland said: “Cabinet approved an amending agreement which extends the terms of original agreement past the 7 April expiry date, in essence giving both parties time to continue satisfying their obligations.”

The original agreement, signed on 7 April, 2010, included a 12-month deadline for the government to meet certain obligations, including the granting of building permits, planning approvals and various duty 
concessions and the passage of new and amended laws.

The local partner in the project, Gene Thompson, said both parties had agreed to the extension.

“We are aware that the extension has been approved and we’re very pleased about that. We are comfortable with where we are at and we are moving forward.

“We continue to have a very strong and good working relationship with the government and the Legal Department,” he said. Under the agreement, four laws needed to be introduced or amended before the hospital project would go ahead. So far, the government has passed the Health Practice Law, which enables medical staff trained in India and other overseas countries to practise in Cayman; the Tax Concessions (Amendment) Law, which exempts companies from potential future taxes; and the Medical Negligence (Non-Economic Damages) (Amendment) Law, which caps pain and suffering damages awarded in medical malpractice cases to $500,000.

The final piece of legislation, which will allow human organ and tissue donations and transplants to be done in Cayman, is being drafted.

The location of the hospital has not released, but the original agreement stated it would be situated on 500 acres in the eastern district of Grand Cayman. Under the terms of the deal, the government agreed to help with the rezoning application for the site.

The hospital, to be called the Narayana Cayman University Medical Centre, is expected to be built in three phases over 10 years and would include a medical university and assisted-living homes for seniors. It is expected to cater primarily to American patients coming to Cayman for heart or cancer treatments, which would be offered at about half the price charged in the United States.

The first phase involves a 150-bed hospital that will provide tertiary care currently unavailable in Cayman, including open-heart surgery, cancer treatments, bone marrow transplants and organ transplants.

Dr. Shetty has said the hospital would operate to standards set by healthcare accreditation organisation Joint Commission International. Recently, his heart hospital in Bangalore was granted Joint Commission International accreditation.

The Indian cardiologist, who was Mother Theresa’s physician, in November made a number of presentations in Cayman to business and medical professionals, outlining the benefits he said his medical centre would bring to Cayman. Those benefits would include access for Cayman residents to more medical care on Island, unlimited employment opportunities, the spending fallout from medical tourists and training and education opportunities at the project’s medical university, he said.

More details of the project are expected to be released at a press briefing scheduled for 14 April.


  1. The economic benefit to Cayman is monumental — employment for Camanians in the trades, medical, from Doctors, Physician’s Assistants, Nurses, Practical Nurses, administration, technology, etc. etc. Probably the best thing that’s happened to Cayman in years. The longer the government delays extends, the more likely this will fall flat on it’s face like so many other missed opportunities in Cayman. A year’s gone by and sure 3 things were passed — but that’s not good enough. By now, ALL issues should have been resolved — why didn’t they form committees to work these things out ? They should have started the construction already. Next they’ll have to go through the planning committee — and anyone who’s ever waited for a red ticket will know — you are looking at years. These pompous members of the committee meet once a month, and reject more than they allow. Something positive can happen on this island, at a time when the world economy is on very shaky ground and Cayman is hurting financially from the US recession — so pushing this through should be an absolute PRIORITY.

    Also: Don’t like the name of the hospital — how are foreigners supposed to remember that? Would prefer to see Cayman University Hospital and they could have a Narayana Hall or Narayana Cardiac Wing if they want the name in there somewhere.

  2. Ask yourselves some questions at this point:
    1) where are all these specialist Caymanian staff who will work in this facility? I particularly question the ‘unlimited employment opportunities. If that isn’t a used car salesman speaking…….
    2) Does Mr Thompson expect immigration rules to be relaxed for the incoming staff?
    2) How will treatment be delivered at half the cost of the USA? Presumably, being tax exempted is one factor as is the reduced level of medical negligence claims. The main issue will be wage and salary costs.
    To say the ‘economic benefit to Cayman is monumental’ ignores the monumental economic benefit for Dr Shetty.
    They say, never look a gift horse in the mouth, but if the horse is wooden perhaps you need to have a quick look at what it hides within it.

    The Beachbum

  3. I agree with mermaid. Beachbum, once again, you never seem to disappoint.
    You are complainging because shetty, will make alot of money off this venture. HE’S PUTTING UP ALL THE CAPITAL!(he’s paying for the whole thing) but in your mind, that is not a right to make money.

    Good god, get out of the sun and use your head for a moment.

    And how Shetty intends to make his procedures less cheap than the states, shouldnt’ concern you, or anyone else. Are you concerned how much a burger is at lone star vs the dog house? Well then, this is not your problem. If shetty charges 4 times the amount of a US hospital, it’s also his right too do so. If his business fails, it doens’t effect you.

    Talk about arguing just for the sake of arguing.

  4. as with other such proposals…, this too will pass! Regardless of the merit or problems with this, it will succumb to the Caymanian version of paralysis by analysis. Medical tourism is a growing proposition and Cayman should be enjoying the benefits.

  5. The superbug known as NDM-1, named for New Delhi is wildly circulating in India, and has popped up in Australia, US, UK, Canada and Sweden. Many of these victims had undergone medical procedures in India, Pakistan,and Bangladesh. Not to say that this sort of medical tourist, or medical staff from India would contract or transport NDM-1 to Cayman, but it is something to consider.

  6. Big Berd:

    This proves Cayman can be bought. The financial services bought the islands, the tourist industry bought the islands and Dr Shetty is buying the islands.

    Why not put a big sign up – Soul for sale – we don’t care who or what you are, we don’t care what you bring, just bring a fist full of dollars.

    The Beachbum

  7. It’s called JOBS, Beachbum. Progression, and expanding the JOB market.

    If your so adversed to modernization of this island. Then I guess you don’t use airconditioning, bank cards, fast food, or electricity. Right?

    Or let me guess, you like selective modernization and progress. But when it doens’t agree with you, it’s the devil.

    Give your head a shake. The island isn’t selling any of it’s soul to anyone. It’s called not being left in the stone age. Cause after all, everyone doesn’t want airconditioning, electricity or the other perks that come with advancement in society.

    Your kind expect high paying jobs, but you don’t want those jobs coming from a modern society. Well guess what, what your asking for is impossible. There is no such thing as a beet farmer making 100K a year. There is no such thing as a coconut seller, driving a bmw. If you want modern amenities, you have to take everything that comes with it. And that usually means a modern society. Unless you are proposing, Cayman become an Amish society and we all drive to work in our horse buggies and carriages?!

    Ahhh utopia, let me mount my unicorn, while I call to the side kick, my trusty leprachaun, you and I will look for it, shall we?

  8. Come back to me in, say, 5 years, and show me how many quality jobs are filled by Caymanians……. All these Doctors, nurses, medical tecnologists- biomedical scientists/radiographers – psychologists, psyiotherapists and senior medical managers. How many Caymanian specialist medical staff are sitting around looking for work? Indeed, how many will be tempted to move from the Cayman Islands Hospital leaving local patients without adequate care?
    Also show me how many of the ancillary staff – cleaners, gardeners, porters and catering staff are Caymanian or will these need filling from outside.
    Don’t get me wrong, this is a good idea. Caymanian business should be encouraged to diversify into modern, technology, based industries. But this should be a Caymanian initiative not one that will end up as India in the Caribbean.

    The Beachbum

  9. I think alot more jobs for Caymanians are going to be created that you think.

    For example. Electricians. Current hospital uses some damn good Caymanian electricians. I have worked with them and know this first hand.

    Who is going to supply the hospital with food? Right, Cayman Distributers, Progressive Distributers, and various other business’s. Which all hire caymanians.
    More work load, more need for bodies. Which means more jobs for Caymanians and others.

    What about supplies? Yes, they will order them off island. But they gotta go through customs, right? So that generates jobs for Caymanians, and money for the government, creating more Caymanian jobs again.

    There are so many side benefits to this hospital. I am not going to spend all day explaining them. Just because the obvious isn’t at the end of your nose, doens’t mean it doesn’t exsist.

    You see things in one dimension. Some of us, see it in many dimensions, that you haven’t even thought about.

    You could say that about any industry that has landed on Cayman. Ie. Finance industry, Tourism industries ect, ect. And SURPRISE, they all created Caymanian jobs.
    Will one industry ever create 100% Caymanian jobs. Not even the US can boast that. There are always going to be others hired to work along side locals. But needless to say, the more jobs on Cayman, the more Caymanians get hired. That really is a no brainer here.

  10. BB, of course there will be ancillary jobs but thank you for pointing out how narrow minded I am.

    Perhaps you will agree that, as my initial post was in reply to…..

    The economic benefit to Cayman is monumental — employment for Camanians in the trades, medical, from Doctors, Physician’s Assistants, Nurses, Practical Nurses, administration, technology, etc. etc.

    Which you and I know is total tosh, the economic benefits are unlikely to be monumental while profits made via reduced taxes are channelled away from Cayman.

    That is the story of Cayman – letting others come in, walk all over you and walk off with the spoils (just take a look at the financial sector!) Come back in 5 years and convince me otherwise – your dreams don’t quite do that.

    The Beachbum

  11. Okay, the only way I can put this. Is by example.

    IF you are right, then what was cayman like pre 1970 before finance came in?

    Now what is it like?

    I can break out pictures if you like. Before finance, NO ONE had air conditioning, drove fancy cars, had the latest anything. Except for a very very small select few. Infact, back in the day, black and white projectors with no sound, were played once a week in certain neighbourhoods and everyone would gather around and watch the movie with no sound. That’s how lacking everyone was with modern ammenities (not that it was a bad thing, it was good back then)

    Now modern ammenities are common place.

    So tell me again, how brining in big business, doesn’t help Caymanians?

    I am done arguing about the obvious.

    If we went by your logic, every Caymanian would still be watching those black and white movies with no sound. Which is obviously not so. So the only conclusion someone can come by is, that bringing in big business benefits EVERYONE. end of story.

  12. BB…. Likewise, discussing with the cussed is tiresome.

    My point – a simple one and one I have oft voiced – is that Caymanians need to control their future. Seize hold of their future by OWNING it not selling it to any fancy wild east medicine man passing by with his wagon loaded with patent cures!

    To do so, by way of example, the public school system would have been invested in so they can compete with the private schools.

    I care not one jot for the fancy cars and the latest gadgets although I see only too well how too many see these as the signs of affluence. If that is your measure of success then we differ totally.

    I do care about the cultural and social fabric of the islands where families can get jobs and live their lives with integrity.


    The Beachbum