New national health policy for Cayman

The Cayman Islands government has issued a national health policy and strategic plan for healthcare for the first time. 

“With this strategic plan, developed in collaboration with public and private sector leaders, we have for the first time an overarching guiding policy that outlines our visions, goals and objectives from our healthcare initiatives,” Health Minister Mark Scotland said Thursday while releasing the report publicly during a Cabinet media briefing.  

“For government agencies, this means they can now move from strategy to implementation, efficiently and purposefully; and for our private sector health partners, it means they can align their efforts with the national health objectives,” he said. 

Among the policies set out in the document are a commitment to deal with obesity and non-communicable diseases. 

The government spends an increasing amount of its budgets on healthcare costs, with a fifth of the budget earmarked for healthcare this year. 

The new policy was put together with the help of the Pan American Health Organisation and the World Health Organisation. 

During the process, those involved identified some of the major challenges facing the territory’s healthcare system. These included: “an increase in socio-behavioural risk factors resulting in a growing epidemic of non-communicable disease; shifting needs and health service expectations among the population; the growing burden on health services from chronic illnesses; and rising healthcare costs.” 

The new strategic plan for Cayman’s healthcare will require the development of a costed annual operational plan, followed by ongoing monitoring and evaluation. 

According to the policy document, based on statistics from the Health Services Authority, high blood pressure is the top diagnosis in the Cayman Islands, with 3,273 HSA patients suffering this condition in 2010, compared to 2,581 four years earlier. Diabetes is the second most prevalent disease, followed by mental disorders. 

The new strategic plan also takes into account the infant mortality rate in the Cayman Islands, which accounted for 5.1 of 1,000 births in 2011. The number of infant deaths doubled from 2010 and 2011, from two to four. The mortality rate for perinatal babies, which refers to the period five months before and up to one month after birth, was 6.4 of 1,000 live births. 

5 COMMENTS

  1. We found your article very interesting this morning considering we received a letter yesterday from Fidelity our medical insurance provider where our premium is increasing 144%.

  2. I agree – received the same letter from Fidelity – increases of this magnitude should not be allowed, but with hardly anyone accepting individuals/self employed for health coverage, they just do what they want…

  3. Fidelity responded to me this morning. These are there reasons. All fair points but if my policy increase every year by 100% were will it end.

    From Fidelity
    Please be advised that the increase in your annual Health Insurance Premium was due to the following reasons:

    1. Your loss ratio for the past year was 375% (Annual premium collected was US5,548.00; claims paid for the year US15,591.00)
    2. Due to the increase of the benefits of the Standard Health Insurance Contract gazette published in The Health Insurance Law (2011 Revision) The Health Insurance (Amendment) Regulations, 2012, rates were increased on all plans as the Standard Plan is the base plan of all supplemental plans.
    3. The benefits of the Individual Platinum Plan were upgraded to be in line with the market trend. The main upgrades of the plan are as follows:
    a. Lifetime maximum increased from US1.2 million to US2 million
    b. Congenital abnormalities and Premature Birth Lifetime maximum of US250,000.00
    c. Organ Transplant Lifetime Maximum of US500,000.00
    d. Repatriation of mortal remains of US12,000.00
    e. Prenatal care of US2,500.00 (previously US600.00)
    f. Prosthetic and durable equipment at Lifetime limit (previously not covered)
    g. Preventative Care at an annual maximum of US500.00 (previously not covered)

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