Main Story: Development digest
Late August marked the groundbreaking of the much anticipated Shetty hospital in East End.
On Monday, 27 August, Indian cardiologist Dr. Devi Shetty joined his local and American partners, along with members of the Cayman Islands Government, stuck “golden” shovels into the ground to dig up sods of earth to symbolically mark the beginning of the construction of the medical tourism facility.
Premier McKeeva Bush said the US$2 billion project–renamed from the original working title of the Narayana Cayman University Medical Centre to the simpler Health City Cayman – was the advent of the development of medical tourism as a third pillar of Cayman’s economy.
Hundreds of invited guests from all walks of life in Cayman, from the medical fraternity to businessmen and women and members of charitable organisations, were in attendance to see the groundbreaking and to hear Shetty’s comments on the future of the project.
Shetty told the audience that, in time, Cayman would become known as a centre of medical excellence and people would flock here, and not just for the scuba diving.
“Soon when somebody gets a chest pain or when their joints start creaking, they’ll think about the Cayman Islands,” he said.
The technology the hospital will use will be second-to-none, the cardiologist said, with doctors using advanced computer software for second opinions on medical cases and remote monitoring of intensive care patients from India giving an added layer of oversight and attention.
He also commended Cayman’s politicians for enabling the medical centre to be built on Grand Cayman, which would help ensure patients locally and from overseas could have access to high-quality, lower-cost tertiary care.
Shetty has partnered with the St. Louis, Missouri, US-based partner Ascension Health Alliance, which will provide facilities planning, supply chain management and biomedical engineering services, while Shetty’s group will manage the running of the hospital.
The first phase of the project in the High Rock area of East End involves the construction of a 140-bed tertiary care hospital, which is scheduled to be operational in November 2013. According to the developers, over the next 15 years, the centre will develop into a hospital with 2,000 beds and will also include an educational facility, a biotechnology park and an assisted living facility.
Among the types of cases the hospital will deal with are cancer treatments, open heart and bypass surgeries, organ transplants, angioplasty and orthopaedics.
Site preparation for the first phase of the building was carried out throughout September, local partner Gene Thompson told The Cayman Islands Journal. The first phase involves the construction of a two-storey, low density structure.
The site is on 50 acres of land, part of 600 acres of land on which the entire hospital and its supporting facilities, such as hotel and residential accommodation, will be built over the next decade and a half.