Premier Wayne Panton has reiterated his call for residents to get vaccinated so government can look towards “safely” reopening Cayman’s borders.
He joined the vaccination call as the number of local jabs dipped in recent days.
As of Friday, 93,748 COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in total in the Cayman Islands. Of these, 48,493 (68% of an estimated 71,100) had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and approximately 64% have completed the two-dose course, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee’s COVID-19 report Friday.
Panton, speaking at the formal opening of Health City Cayman Islands’ new Camana Bay clinic on Thursday evening, lauded the health provider’s contribution to the local health sector.
“While the original vision for Health City Cayman Islands was medical tourism, the hospital’s founders have realised that the East End campus caters more to the local market. Therefore it makes sense for Health City to go to the people,” he said.
However, Panton said he was not ready to write Health City off as a medical tourism destination.
“We just all need to get vaccinated to achieve the equivalent of herd immunity so we can safely reopen our borders and welcome tourists back. But just as much as Health City has needed the local market, the Government and our people have needed Health City,” he said.
Panton said he believed the new clinic, located on Forum Lane, is “one of the first steps toward providing accessible healthcare to our own people, bringing top-notch doctors from East End closer to where people really do live, work and play.”
He said he found the opening refreshing and heartening.
“Refreshing because this opening is proof that COVID-19 has not beat us. We are continuing our march with life and able to pretty much do routine activities in the relative safety of our beloved Islands. Heartening because even though we are still in a pandemic, the opening of new businesses is proof that investors still see the Cayman Islands as a stable environment in which to invest and do business,” the premier said.
Health and Wellness Minister Sabrina Turner shared the premier’s sentiments as she commended Health City for expanding its services to include the George Town and West Bay areas.
The East End-based hospital, she said, has provided 17,000 educational opportunities for the people of the Cayman Islands and opened doors to career paths for Caymanian children.
She added that it has, through its various programmes, encouraged Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.
Health City Clinical Director Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil said the clinic will be open seven days a week, evenings and weekends.
“We are making ourselves available when and where it is most convenient for our patients. And it’s only the beginning. We look to the future with excitement as we progress our plans for our $100 million medical campus expansion here in Camana Bay,” he said.
The event was preceded by a ribbon cutting ceremony and a Chamber of Commerce business after-hours event.