Key handover for Health City

As the opening of Health City Cayman Islands draws near, the key to the medical tourism complex was officially turned over Friday from the contractors to the local partner in the project, Gene Thompson. 

Mr. Thompson and Health City’s Medical Director Dr. Chandy Abraham accepted the key to the hospital from Neil Armstrong, partner in Cayman Healthcare Construction Group, and construction manager Ryan Smith. 

Preliminary work on the site began in late 2012. The official start of construction of the first phase of the project, a 140-bed tertiary care hospital, began in February 2013. The first patients are expected to arrive mid-March.  

“The project was built on time and close to budget,” noted Mr. Thompson.  

Health City Cayman Islands is a joint venture between Narayana Health of India, a private venture developed by renowned heart surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty, and Ascension, the largest private non-profit healthcare system in the United States. 

Located in East End, the hospital will specialize in cardiac surgery, cardiology and orthopedics. The aim is to provide high-quality, affordable healthcare for patients in the Caribbean region and Americas. 

In tracking the number of workers at the construction site, Mr. Thompson said the majority of jobs were held by Caymanians – an average of 64 percent. At the peak of the project, more than 300 workers were at the site. The majority of the more than 40 subcontractors were local as well. 

Cayman Healthcare Construction Group is a joint venture between Caledonia Construction Cayman and healthcare construction specialists Deangelis Diamond Healthcare Group, headquartered in Florida. 

“We’ve changed the way projects are delivered,” said Mr. Smith. “The delivery method is a lean method and it is very collaborative. It is a model that works well.” 

Mr. Thompson said the goal was to maximize efficiencies. The 107,000-square-foot building was constructed using insulated concrete form walls, high-efficiency roofing system, high-efficiency mechanical units and is built to Category 5 hurricane standards. 

The hospital has been designed to industry accreditation organization Joint Commission International USA standards. 

Mr. Smith said the design phase of a 180- to 200-bed recovery hotel that will be connected to the hospital by a walkway will begin in April. That project is expected to break ground by summer. 

He noted green technologies will be incorporated as well, including a sea water air conditioning system that will draw cool deep sea water for the hospital’s air conditioning system. The system, expected to be in place within two years, will reduce air conditioning costs by 70 to 80 percent and overall power demand by 50 percent. 

Mr. Thompson said the facility’s water and sewage is being treated on-site, reducing costs as the wastewater will be used for irrigation of the grounds and flushing. 

“Our goal is to put zero effluent into the ground,” he said. 

The developers say an aggressive recycling program is being adopted to reduce hospital waste. 

The hospital will have its own on-site oxygen generation system so will not have to ship in tanks of liquid oxygen from overseas. 

Mr. Thompson said landscaping was a key aspect of the design. “It is healing and therapeutic. And this is a functional building so you want to augment it with landscaping.” 

The grounds were designed by landscaper Margaret Barwick, who used endemic plants and trees. Walkways and seating areas are incorporated throughout.  

Over the next decade, the hospital will expand to a 2,000-bed facility and will offer care in other major specialties such as neurology and oncology. The complex is also planned to have a medical university and an assisted-care living community. 

The grand opening of Health City Cayman Islands is set for Feb. 25, and officials anticipate a large turnout. Among the expected guests are Dr. Shetty, the governor and premier of the Cayman Islands, members of the legislative assembly and international medical, pharmaceutical and business executives. 

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Neil Armstrong, partner in Cayman Healthcare Construction Group, second from left, and construction manager Ryan Smith, far left, present the key to Health City Cayman Islands to Gene Thompson, local partner in the project, and Health City’s Medical Director Dr. Chandy Abraham, far right. – Photo: Chris Court

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