Health City Cayman Islands, which closed down temporarily last month after some of its staff contracted COVID-19 from the islands’ first coronavirus patient, is continuing to reopen in phases.

The hospital announced Wednesday that it was now offering outpatients “virtual specialist consultations via telemedicine” after previously reopening for local emergency referrals.

Clinical Director Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil said with the telemedicine offering, the hospital was supporting the government’s efforts to have people stay at home as much as possible.

“We are open now for all emergencies, including walk-ins, after initially reopening on March 27 for emergency and critical care referrals only,” he said. “We are very glad to be back to handling emergency cases and fulfilling our mission of saving lives and offering critical care and life support to the Islands’ patients in the direst need of care.”

The hospital noted in its statement that a telemedicine trial of the virtual consultations began on 1 April, and had involved providing ongoing care to existing patients in a limited number of medical specialties. Following that trial, Health City is now offering the service to new and existing patients.

Virtual consultations will be provided via telephone call or WhatsApp video call from Monday to Friday between 9am and 1pm; however, exceptions are made based on the need and urgency of the patient, the hospital said.

To schedule an appointment, patients can email [email protected] or call the hospital on 640-4040. An insurance-approval process has been developed for the telemedicine consultations, and all insurance approvals will be secured by Health City staff, hospital officials said.

One wing of the hospital has been physically segregated and assigned exclusively for the isolation of suspected or positive COVID-19 patients. Another wing is being used only for newly admitted emergency patients, who will not have any contact with existing patients of the hospital or the staff taking care of them.

The hospital stated that its Outpatient Pharmacy continues to operate. Patients seeking refills and renewals of existing prescriptions can email [email protected] for assistance.

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