The Central Planning Authority has approved Health City Cayman Islands’ application to build a new 57-bed hospital in Camana Bay.
An application for the three-storey hospital, which will offer oncology and prenatal care services, was considered by the CPA last week.
Health City Cayman Islands clinical director Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil had earlier told the Cayman Compass that he expected the first phase of the facility to be up and running at the end of next year.
The CPA granted permission for the hospital developers to clear land for the project off Minerva Drive in May this year.
In its response to the planning application, the Department of Environment did not recommend an environmental impact assessment for the site. However, it said it was “premature” to grant planning permission to the project “prior to completing a needs assessment to demonstrate the need for a further medical facility of this type”.
There are currently three hospitals on Grand Cayman – the Cayman Islands Hospital, with 124 beds; CTMH Doctor’s Hospital with 18 beds; and Health City, with 104 beds. Planning permission has also been given for another new hospital, Aster MedCity, with 160 beds, and possible expansion of up to 500 beds.
Health City, in response to calls for a needs assessment to be done, said the proposed facility is intended to fill “an existing healthcare gap for the Cayman Islands and the surrounding region, with a state-of-the-art centre offering expanded cancer care in a purpose-built building”.
It said the cancer treatment centre would provide “greatly expanded oncology treatment options, including medical oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation therapy, in addition to being a Bone Marrow Transplant facility”.
It noted that the Cayman Islands Cancer Society had stated that between 100 and 200 individuals a year seek cancer treatment overseas, because certain treatments are not available in Cayman.
It added, “Radiotherapy is one of the most expensive modalities in healthcare and this offering will significantly reduce the cost by as much as a half to 75% less than like facilities overseas.”
Health City anticipates that, as well as treating local patients, the new facility will attract cancer patients from around the Caribbean and Central America, who previously would not have had access to the therapies possible using the specialised equipment that will be available at the hospital.
The hospital, according to the planning documents, will be located about 350 feet from the northern boundary of the George Town landfill.
Health City’s partner on the project is Dart, which owns the land on which the hospital will be built and which has signed a deal with government to remediate the landfill and create a new waste management system.
Potential risks due to the hospital’s proximity to the landfill were considered as part of the planning application. These included risks from fires, odours, gases and pests.
An environmental risk-based assessment considered by the CPA concluded that
“contaminant linkages will be broken by provision of an engineered landfill cap and by the installation of landfill gas and stormwater controls”.
It said, “These remediation measures will mitigate/prevent risks associated with odour,
dust nuisance, pests and vermin, and landfill fires.”
Health City also addressed the likely socioeconomic effects of the development, stating that it planned to employ 250 staff at the Camana Bay operation, of which 30% will be Caymanian, equating to 75 positions for Caymanians. It said its East End facility currently employs close to 100 Caymanians.