The Cayman Islands Cancer Society has signed an agreement with the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority to begin work on a new chemotherapy unit.
Renovation work will begin as early as next week in a building formerly occupied by the old Lighthouse School, off Smith Road in George Town.
The unit, approximately 1,520 square feet, will form part of the hospital complex and serve cancer patients in the Cayman Islands.
Designed by Rodney Frederick of Frederick & McRae, the unit will contain four infusion chairs, meaning it can cater to at least eight patients a day.
Upon completion, the Cancer Society will hand the unit over to the Health Services Authority. It will fall under the auspices of the authority to be operated as part of healthcare services that are available to all visitors and residents in the Cayman Islands.
The Cancer Society and the Health Services Authority signed the memorandum of understanding at the hospital’s Hibiscus Conference Room on Tuesday.
The agreement also highlighted the handing over of a digital mammogram machine by the Cancer Society to the hospital.
“The society and HSA have established a relationship that has proven beneficial to the community by working together to expand and improve the healthcare series for the people of the Cayman Islands. Going forward, that partnership will continue to grow for the benefit of all residents,” said Betty Ann Duty, director of the Cancer Society.
Dr. Sook Yin, medical director of the organisation, also announced the purchase of a new centrifuge machine used in detecting cervical cancer cells from a pap smear test.
The machine, which costs less than $10,000, was handed over to the Health Services Authority by the Cancer Care Fund. A regular pap smear done at the hospital takes as long as three weeks to get the results, but with the new machine patients can get results in under 24 hours.
At the event, Dr. Yin also encouraged people to sign a petition asking Caribbean heads of government to increase Caribbean women’s access to affordable cervical cancer screening. Nurse Cindy Ebanks welcomed the new unit and machine, not just for herself, but for all the patients who she said could now stay in Grand Cayman to receive treatment.
The Cayman Islands Hospital currently has a small unit based in the ambulatory unit that caters to cancer patients in need of chemotherapy. However, it can only handle a small number of patients and many cancer patients continue to receive their chemo treatments overseas.