The Central Planning Authority has given Health City Cayman Islands the green light to clear and fill a 3.44 acre plot which will be used for its new $100 million medical campus in Camana Bay.

The application to clear the site located on Minerva Drive – a portion of parcel 13B 230 owned by Cayman Shores Development Ltd (CSDL) – was approved last week by the CPA.

Cayman Shores, a subsidiary of Dart, gave consent to submit the application, CPA documents stated.

From left, Shomari Scott and Dr. Binoy Chattuparambi of Health City, then Premier Alden McLaughlin, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour and Justin Howe of Dart at a press briefing in February to announce plans to create Health City Camana Bay.

Shomari Scott, chief business officer at Health City, in a statement to the Cayman Compass on Tuesday, said the organisation was excited to see this first step forward in the progress towards the construction of a “comprehensive, highly specialized hospital that will reduce and, in some cases, eliminate the need for traveling off island” to receive medical care.

“Our plans for the new facility are progressing and we look forward to helping close healthcare accessibility gaps, and providing robust healthcare security, to radically improve medical outcomes for the people of the Cayman Islands,” he said in an emailed statement.

The new hospital, which is expected to be completed within two years, was announced in February and will be located south of the Cayman International School, near the intersection of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and the new Airport Connector Road, on a 70,000-square-foot site.

The Camana Bay site is zoned ‘Low Density Residential’. In considering the application, the CPA said it looked at the timing of the request.

The CPA meeting agenda stated that the applicant letter indicated developers (HCCI) are currently working with their design team for a new hospital at the site, which will be submitted at a later date.

“In the meantime, the client wishes to start clearing and filling a section of the area for the future development. The Authority needs to determine if it is premature to clear and fill the land prior to an application for a hospital being submitted and considered for approval,” the CPA agenda stated.

Following deliberations, the CPA approved the application.

Health City has already established a footprint in Camana Bay, Scott said, with the opening of its clinic early in May.

“We are really pleased with the welcome our Camana Bay clinic has received from our patients – new and existing. We’ve had great feedback from patients on the short wait times, extended opening hours and the ability to see our world class doctors closer to where our patients live and work,” he said.

The clearing and filling work at the Camana Bay site will commence 22 June, he added.

Health City’s Clinical Director Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil said in Tuesday’s statement that the hospital’s radiotherapy services would be available within nine months of the ground-breaking, with the completion of the rest of the facility and a full suite of services following a few months later.

“We estimate the full 70,000 square foot expansion to take 12 to 18 months to complete,” he said. “The hospital will include a specialised neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a service that will be of great benefit to Cayman and the wider Caribbean,” he said.

“Having a premature baby or a baby that requires care in a NICU is very difficult for families. If their home is far from that NICU, the challenges of separation and travel begin at birth. The cost of travel and time away from work for parents is especially burdensome and is really the last thing parents in an already difficult situation need to be worrying about,” Chattuparambil said. “The NICU at our Camana Bay campus will mean babies and families can stay together and focus on what is most important – positive outcomes for these newborns.”

The Camana Bay medical campus will become the first hospital in the region to offer bone marrow transplantation and CAR-T Cell therapy. The advanced oncology department will include medical oncology, hemato-oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology with a medical linear accelerator (LINAC).

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