Dr. Devi Shetty is in talks with investors to raise US$67.5 million to pay for the first phase of his proposed 2,000-bed medical tourism hospital in Cayman, according to a report in the India-based Business Standard newspaper.
The publication reported that Dr. Shetty’s Narayana Hrudayalaya’s Bangalore-based hospital chain is close to raising the money to pay for what it described as a 300-bed multi-specialty hospital in Cayman through a mix of debt and equity with more reliance on the latter.
Locally, the first phase of the project has been described as a 140-bed hospital.
The newspaper said Dr. Shetty said his group was negotiating with “a couple of US-based strategic players to invest in the project” and that, additionally, a financial investor would pick up equity besides raising debt.
If it raises the targeted funds, this will be the second largest amount the hospital chain has secured. In 2007, it raised US$100 million from JP Morgan and AIG to fund expansion plans.
Dr. Shetty signed a memorandum of understanding with the Cayman Islands Government in April 2010 to create the project in four phases. The MOU was for a period of 12 months, which Cabinet extended in April this year.
According to that MOU, the first phase would involve an investment of approximately US$150 million,
During a news briefing in April this year, local partner Gene Thompson said seven sites had been identified as potential sites for the hospital and said a location for the hospital and its associated facilities, including assisted living quarters and a medical education facility, would be finalised within the next three months. So far, no announcement regarding where the hospital will be has be made.
As part of the agreement, the Cayman Islands Government has passed a number of laws to help pave the way for the establishment of the hospital, including 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.
A final piece of legislation, which will allow human organ and tissue donations and transplants to be done in Cayman, is being drafted and is expected to be tabled later this year.
Dr. Shetty told the Indian newspaper: “All issues are close to being settled and we are progressing on the project.”