Doctors Express, the newest medical treatment facility in Cayman, will open its doors Monday and begin treating patients for maladies ranging from simple colds to broken bones.
The facility, dreamed up by married couple Samuel and Winnie Banks, hopes to separate itself from existing clinics by being open weekends and after normal business hours. Patients can come in and see a physician without a reservation.
“We know you’re not feeling well. We know you have a busy life,” said Mr. Banks of his message to potential patients who may stop in to his office on Godfrey Nixon Way. “There’s no need for appointments. Stop in at any time, and we get you in and out in under an hour. That’s our goal.”
The facility, which took five years to go from concept to execution, arose out of a necessity in the life of the Banks family. They were on a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, when Ms. Banks hurt her ankle, and they were left without many choices on where to go for treatment.
“We didn’t want to go to the emergency room for a sprained ankle, but she was in a lot of pain,” said Mr. Banks, an attorney. “We found an Urgent Care in Orlando and we went in and had such a great experience. They treated us so well, we thought, ‘It would be really nice to have one of these in Cayman.’ That was the idea, and since then, it’s been saving and planning. It’s been a long, hard road.”
Ms. Banks, who has both a medical degree and a master’s in business administration, will serve as the facility’s manager, and the clinic will start off with two doctors and four nurses. Doctors Express hopes to serve as many as 80 patients a day in its opening weeks and will be able to accommodate more as time progresses. Five years down the line, they hope to have eight doctors and 16 nurses.
Doctors Express has been built by Mr. Banks in partnership with three American medical professionals – Dr. Trey Morice, Dr. Brett Casey and Gabriel Beadle – and they are counting on their central George Town location and an aggressive social media campaign to let patients know of their services immediately.
“Our facility is designed to be all-in-one,” said Mr. Banks. “The idea is that if you come to us, you can get everything done. If you want a work permit physical, you can get your bloodwork done, you can get your chest X-ray and you can see the physician. They can get the exam written up and you don’t need to go anywhere else. It’s the first place on the island, other than the hospital, where you can do that.”
The facility has been built from the ground up with the patient experience in mind, and nurses will have line-of-sight supervision over each of the clinic’s exam rooms. Dr. Karine Palmer, one of the first physicians on board, wants patients to know they can be treated for a wide range of conditions.
“The main things that we treat are what we call acute episodic illnesses,” said Dr. Palmer. “Something that happens and you have to have it seen right away, but it’s not a life-threatening or limb-threatening situation. Broken bones that are uncomplicated. Lacerations. Stings of different sorts. And then your regular flu, cold, sore throat, stomachaches, backaches. Migraine headaches. That kind of thing.”
The clinic will be open to tourists and Cayman residents alike, and patients can stop in from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. without calling in advance. That is a revolutionary concept in Cayman, said Mr. Banks, and it’s an important niche to fill for patients who would otherwise have nowhere else to go.
“If they’re not closed on Saturday, you need an appointment to get in to see them,” said Mr. Banks of existing medical practices. “You wake up Saturday morning not feeling well, the best you can do is cross your fingers and hope. Give your doctor a call, hope they can fit you in. Here, you just show up.