A year after its ribbon-cutting ceremony to open its doors, Health City Cayman Islands has seen more than 2,500 patients and performed almost 200 surgeries, hospital representatives say.
Health City started seeing patients in April 2014, but opened to great fanfare a year ago Wednesday. The 140-bed East End hospital aims to tap into the growing medical tourism market and provide care for people around the Caribbean who could not otherwise access or afford major surgeries. The hospital focuses on heart surgeries and orthopedic procedures like knee replacements.
A year ago, Health City founder Dr. Devi Shetty said, “Our intention is building the hospital of the future. A hospital that will not be compared with the best hospitals of U.K. or Europe but will be considered as the best hospital on the planet and will lay the standard for all the other hospitals to follow.”
Dr. Shetty founded the original Health City in Bangalore, India, with the same mission of medical tourism and treatment for the poor.
Health City marketing director Shomari Scott said recently, “The aim of the facility in the first year and a half was to close the gap in regards to tertiary need in Cayman from a cardiac and orthopedic prospective, provide the best service available from an emergency and elective perspective, and reduce the budget burden on the government as well as local insurance payers.”
Health City doctors have brought in patients who couldn’t afford major operations, including a dozen children from Haiti who needed heart surgery.
For patients in Cayman, doctors at Health City have performed emergency operations on tourists and residents and provided routine care.
Cayman Islands National Insurance Company CEO Lonny Tibbetts told the Cayman Compass that his company has referred multiple CINICO members to Health City for surgery and diagnostics. “We are very fortunate to have access to the level of services they’re providing,” he said.
Mr. Tibbetts said having Health City open to CINICO members means they can get quicker access to care and stay near their families when they have, for example, open-heart surgery.
Mr. Scott said, “2015 is a big year.” He hopes Health City this year will receive Joint Commission International accreditation, which is a globally recognized accrediting organization for hospitals.
The current building, sitting on a hill above Sea View Road and surrounded by bush, currently has 140 patient beds. The hospital has major plans to expand beyond its current building.
Ultimately, Dr. Shetty said at the opening ceremony, “Our desire is to build a 2,000-bed health city and a medical university that will become a beacon of medical education for the world.”
Mr. Scott said, “We are well into the design phase of the first of two hotels, which is expected to create around 185 rooms with an anticipated opening date of November 2016.” He added that developers hope to start work on a second hotel in three or four years, once the second phase of the hospital is complete.
“We are also in the process of starting our residential and commercial development in the second quarter of this year, and we are in the early stages of design on our retirement community, which is expected to commence later on in 2015,” Mr. Scott said.
The assisted living center will be geared toward baby boomers from the United States who want a less expensive option than living in a retirement home in the U.S.