Shetty hospital breaks ground

Shetty Hospital groundbreaking 1 main

Dr. Devi Shetty, his partners and local politicians broke ground at the new medical tourism centre on Monday to mark the start of construction at the East End site. 

Before an audience of hundreds of invited guests, Dr. Shetty gave an overview of what he expected his proposed lower-cost, high quality hospital in Grand Cayman to deliver, saying his aim was for the facility not to be known as the cheapest hospital, but as the “safest hospital in this part of the world”. 

Explaining that his job as a heart surgeon means he puts a price on human life every day, Dr. Shetty said he sees between 60 and 80 children a day in his office and has to tell their mothers how much an operation to repair a hole in the heart would cost – about $800, and if they cannot pay that, it means the difference between life and death 
for the patient. 

He said patients all over the world faced the same situation. “Only 10 per cent of the world’s population can afford so-called tertiary health care and America and Europe is not an exception. The cost of health care has become a big issue everywhere. How long [will] this drama go on? Someone 
has to stop it.” 

He said Cayman’s politicians, in facilitating the Shetty hospital to be built here, were creating an opportunity to “stop this calamity”. 

Part of creating one of the world’s safest hospitals would be embracing technology, the Indian cardiologist said, citing the safety record of hospitals run by his US-based partner Ascension Health Alliance and a plan to make the new hospital a paperless facility, using iPads instead. “A paper does not tell you if you are writing something wrong, but an iPad will smack your hand and tell you it’s not right,” Dr. Shetty said. 

Among the innovations that the hospital would bring is remote monitoring of intensive care patients by internists in India, who due to the time zone difference between India and Cayman, would be working while it is nighttime in Cayman, when local internists would not normally be working. 

“We believe that within five years, software will make smarter diagnoses than doctors. We believe within 10 years, it will become legally mandatory for every doctor to get a second opinion from software before starting treatment,” said Dr. Shetty, adding that he anticipated that this would happen even earlier in his hospital. 

The surgeon said Cayman was famous for scuba diving. “Soon when somebody gets a chest pain or when their joints start creaking, they’ll think about the Cayman Islands,” he said. 

Master of ceremonies at the event, David Legge, described the US$2 billion hospital project, once completed, as the “largest private sector undertaking in the history of these islands”. 

The first phase of the project, known officially as Health City Cayman Islands, is the construction of a 140-bed tertiary care hospital, which is scheduled to be operational in November next year. According to the developers, once the entire hospital is complete in 15 years, it will house 2,000 beds. The hospital is based in the High Rock area of the District of East End in Grand Cayman, with its entrance opposite the western end of Lovers Wall. 

Ascension Health Alliance will provide facilities planning, supply chain management and biomedical engineering services, while Dr. Shetty’s group will run the hospital. 

More than 200 construction jobs will be created to build the first phase of the hospital with another 300 jobs being created when the hospital opens in November 2013, Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush said. 

The premier said Monday’s groundbreaking not only marked the beginning of construction of the new hospital, but the advent of a new leg of the Cayman Islands’ economy – medical tourism. He added that the project, which he said would be the “envy of the Caribbean”, was a sign of confidence in the Cayman Islands from overseas investors. 

“The Cayman Islands is the right place to come and invest. The Cayman Islands is the right place to come and start a bold new business. These islands are the right place to create a better way of doing things,” said Mr. Bush, adding that during the next 10 years, the Health City Cayman Islands would add more than $3 billion to Cayman’s gross domestic product. 

He acknowledged that the project required the improvement of facilities at Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman, planning for which he said was under way, but which was already facing hurdles. 

Mr. Bush and other speakers thanked local businessmen Gene Thompson and Harry Chandi as the driving forces behind the project. 

While the main focus of the hospital is to attract medical tourists from the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States, the hospital’s facilities, which will include cancer treatment, open heart and bypass surgeries, organ transplants, angioplasty and orthopaedics, will also be available to local patients who may no longer need to travel off island for such treatments.  

The premier pointed out that one of the biggest challenges he and his government faced in drawing up the latest budget, which faced delay and oversight by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was the cost of healthcare and sending patients overseas for medical care. 

Shetty Hospital groundbreaking 1

From left, West Bay MLA Eugene Ebanks, Minister of Health Mark Scotland, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Dr. Devi Shetty, Premier McKeeva Bush, Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Minister of Education Rolston Anglin were among those who broke ground with “golden” shovels at the Shetty hospital site in East End. – PHOTO: NORMA CONNOLLY

Shetty Hospital groundbreaking 2 - Shetty

Dr. Devi Shetty addresses the crowd at the groundbreaking of the Health City Cayman Islands on Monday, 27 August. – PHOTO: NORMA CONNOLLY


  1. I noticed CNS, Cayman News Service article fails to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony, but instead makes an article about the Information Technology of the medical center – bented news I say, far away from the significance of this project, which will create jobs and become the third major arm of revenue in the Cayman Islands, and introduce Medical Tourism!

    Just shows the extent of opposing to the point of becoming so polar in thinking that it is now everything government does that is negative. I am a very neutral person. I pick no sides. I am indepedent and not party affiliated, but I am not going to belittle ground breaking ceremonies and raise questions in an article to lessen the significance of the positive things it will do for the country. Note that the IT article is their first article. You would have thought that an article celebrating the groundbreaking ceremony itself would would have been the first article, but not so for CNS.

    One day people will understand that it is not which side you are on, it is being true, accurate, positive, factual, and constructive in reporting news that will benefit all.

    I still have posted several rational comments on the CNS site in accordance to their policy and have not seen any of my comments. No matter how positive and factual they are, there are just some things the CNS moderator don’t want on their site, and they have the right not to have those things on their site. But it is truly amazing. I noticed they have branded all commenters on their site – TROLLS

  2. @ SirTurle

    Its a typical leftwing tabloid style blog, with an imported philosophy from the US/UK/Euro socialists aimed at destroying, mischaracterizing or distorting by way of opinion shaping headlines and articles, anything which resembles conservative viewpoint toward fiscal, religious and social policies and even thought process. Their suggestive headlines, suggestive polls, hideously biased editorials are simply mechanisms to attack and paint their ideological opponents in a way they see advantageous to their liberal cause and ideology and will seek destroy politician, individuals(investors) and projects alike whom disagree with its self-appointed superior rational irrespective of the impact to the country.

    This is clear as day to me and therefore do not assign any significant credibility to them. If anyone needs evidence of this, create the typical a USA style liberalism checklist, and you can pretty much read just about any of their articles, and go line by line and check off every single point as liberal socialist.

    It seems to me that CNS’s primary goal is to import US/UK/Euro style liberalism to Cayman and influence as many people as possible to their ideology and use willing accomplices other other _obvious_ media outlets to accomplish this as well. Thankfully, Compass doesn’t operate in this manner and I am thankful to them for that.

  3. If you believe that there isn’t a planned bias to CNS reporting then you are naive to politics. Just as Rooster has an agenda that is every bit in line with CNS.
    People need to become careful news consumers as many if not most of the contributors are hoping to be your future MLAs.

  4. AJ Sir Turtle, I couldn’t agree more with your views of CNS.

    Recently they added the troll button which they say is to identify people who post comments not to voice their personal opinion but in order to change or inflame the discussion or produce a particular emotional response.

    Then several articles later they post a story which has absolutely nothing to do with the Cayman Islands. And was only posted in an attempt to inflame the discussion or produce a particular emotional response due to the fact that our education minister found himself in a similar situation not so long ago.

    And before that there was the article they posted about the Jamaican offical with the speeding ticket incident who stepped down from his post while under a corruption enquiry. Which was posted for the exact same reason.

    They are a very childish organization and are doing this country no good what so ever.

    I am no fan of either the UDP or the PPM, but I am a huge fan of nonbiased reporting. Thank you Caymanian Compass.

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