New fees to cover the inspection of medical facilities will come into effect 1 March.
Cabinet earlier this month approved the fees, which will bring in $154,000 a year, Health Minister Mark Scotland said.
Cayman’s first health practice facilities inspector, Barrie Quappé, was appointed in 2009. National standards for healthcare facilities were adopted the following year, setting minimum operating standards for premises where healthcare services were provided.
“To date, we have 128 registered healthcare facilities across our three Islands and they are all in compliance with national health standards,” said Mr. Scotland. “So, the next logical step was to introduce some minimal fees, which then help to offset the cost of us carrying out those regulatory activities [and] inspections, because facilities are to be inspected on an annual basis.” He added: “Over the past three years, some have been inspected up to three times. We put off the implementation of fees until everything was worked out and running smoothly and to give facilities time to come up to speed with any issues that were to be addressed.”
Facilities that pass inspection are issued with a facility certificate by the Department of Health Regulatory Services, which is displayed on the premises to let the public know that the facilities meet requirements.
Insisting the addition of the fees were not simply to raise revenue, the minister said the $154,000 in annual fees would offset the cost of inspecting facilities.
The initial application fee is $300, while the inspection and facility fee for premises with up to three beds or clinical/examination rooms is $1,000. For operations with three or more beds, the fee is $1,000, plus $200 per bed.
For facilities with three or more clinical/examination rooms, the base fee is $1,000, plus $200 per room.
In the event that the health facilities inspector finds that a premises is not in compliance with the national standards, there is a follow-up inspection fee of $500 and renewals of certificates cost $750.