$625,000 paid over pre-2002 medical claim

The Cayman Islands government was forced to pay $625,000 in August over a medical negligence claim that predates 2002.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is also the health minister, said the payment was “in addition to” other expenditures made in relation to the case.

He did not specify which claim the payment involved, and Health Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn said she could not discuss the matter due to patient confidentiality issues.

The Health Services Authority has operated as an independent authority since 2002 and has therefore been responsible for its own legal matters since that time. Prior to that date, the government ran the public hospital system directly and this negligence claim dates back to then.

“The government is liable for any medical negligence claims arising from care prior to the transition to an authority,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “Most of these past claims have been resolved.”

Mr. McLaughlin said the ministry was unable to cut its budget somewhere else to pay for the medical claim, so the full amount will have to come from its operating surplus.

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