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UPDATED: Pregnant woman among Cayman’s new Zika cases

Cayman now has 17 confirmed locally transmitted cases of Zika, including one pregnant woman, according to public health officials. All of the confirmed local cases are in George Town. The total number of cases confirmed with laboratory results, including those suspected to have come from overseas travel, is now 26.

Vital signs device donated to pediatric unit

The Jabez Foundation, a not-for-profit company, has donated US$2,722 to the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority’s pediatric department for the purchase of a device to check children’s vital signs.

HSA officials

Healthcare leaders will join hospital board

Four senior medical and civil service officials will be placed on the Health Services Authority board of directors in order to “help avoid the mistakes of the past,” according to Health Ministry Councilor Roy McTaggart.

EDITORIAL – Cayman’s ailing health authority

Government math can be tricky. But here’s a reliable conversion rate: One round of legislative testimony from Health Services Authority officials approximates to one week of troubling news headlines.

Public hospital gets approval to write off millions in debt

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority has been trying to claim unpaid healthcare bills that are “uncollectable,” including from some former patients who have died, the authority’s board chairman confirmed during a government committee hearing last week.

Free healthcare conference to focus on all stages of life

“The Chapter of a Healthy Life” is the theme of this year’s Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference scheduled for Oct. 20-22 at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Government $1.2 billion healthcare liability figure may be low

The Cayman Islands government’s $1.18 billion figure for estimated healthcare liabilities due over the next two decades may be a bit low.

HSA promises ‘clean accounts’ by 2018

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority has pledged to report “clean” financial statements by 2018, after receiving a tongue-lashing from Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ezzard Miller this week.

Pay up

Government says it won’t get into ‘medical tourism’

Although it has been granted the legal designation to participate in “medical tourism,” the government has no intention of going into that business, public health officials said Wednesday.

HSA will sue to recover debts

The Cayman Islands public hospital system will begin suing patients or businesses that owe healthcare debts, the agency’s chief executive told lawmakers Wednesday.

Hospital gets high-tech X-ray facility

The Health Services Authority has built a new X-ray facility at the Cayman Islands Hospital, refitting an examination room and installing the state-of-the-art $400,000 machine, streamlining the once-cumbersome diagnostic process.

Mosquito Unit works to protect pregnant women as Zika fears grow

Some pregnant women have left the Cayman Islands and others are putting off moves to Grand Cayman now that there are known local Zika transmissions. But leaving a job and traveling overseas is not an option for many women who are pregnant and couples trying to conceive.

Public Health confirms third local Zika case

Public health officials Thursday confirmed a third local case of the Zika virus, all of which have occurred in George Town.

Donated funds allow hospital to order new, customized ambulance

The Cayman Islands Hospital is preparing to order a new ambulance from a U.S. manufacturer, finalizing specifications for the fresh equipment after the springtime completion of a $150,000 fundraising effort.

Two local Zika cases confirmed

Two people in George Town are Cayman’s first official cases of locally transmitted Zika, according to public health officials. The islands have had six cases of Zika imported by people visiting other countries, but these are the first reported incidents of the virus being acquired locally.

CarePay audit: US$1.8M spent on non-existent project

The Cayman Islands government spent US$1.8 million (CI$1.5 million) on a fraudulent plan to “roll out” a healthcare patient swipe-card system to private sector doctors and insurers, an audit of the public hospital system’s CarePay project has confirmed.

EDITORIAL – CarePay audit: No clean bill of public health

Case closed on CarePay? For the sake of the people of the Cayman Islands who are picking up the tab for this sordid affair, it better not be.

New hair-loss treatment for chemo patients at hospital

The Cayman Islands Hospital has introduced a new therapy treatment that reduces hair loss among cancer patients who receive chemotherapy there.

First Zika cases confirmed in Cayman

Two cases of imported Zika virus in the Cayman Islands have been confirmed by public health officials.

UPDATE: Hospital burglar ‘threatened to shoot officer’

A suspected burglar threatened to shoot a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officer early Tuesday morning.

Legislative Assembly approves $862.4 million budget

Members of the Legislative Assembly Friday approved an $862.4 million budget for government over the next 18 months.

Breaking down the budget

Government’s budget priorities for the year ahead include increased funding for schools, modest pay raises for civil servants, and more money for the country’s financial regulator and for public health to fight diseases such as the Zika virus.

Few EY report ‘priorities’ under way

Recommendations from a September 2014 government consultant’s report by the Ernst & Young accounting firm have been pared down to 57 areas which the civil service intends to “progress,” according to a report released last week.

Past due

EDITORIAL – Turn for the worse: HSA’s accelerating unpaid debts

The estimated $90 million in bad debts for public healthcare says much — but not much good — about the state of these islands. Last...

Hospital waiting room upgraded

The critical care unit of the Cayman Islands Hospital is now a more welcoming place, thanks largely to the efforts of one woman who has spent many hours in the hospital’s waiting rooms over the years.

Hospital bad debts reach $90 million

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority expects to end this month with $90.3 million in “doubtful debts” – hospital bills which have not been paid for at least a year and which have less chance, in the authority’s view, of being collected.

Child who inspired change to HSA Law may never benefit

She was the case study for changing the law to restore the rights of patients who believe they are victims of medical errors to claim compensation. But Donette Thompson may never benefit from the changes she inspired.

Government acts on 22 percent of audit recommendations

The Cayman Islands government has implemented just 22 percent of the recommendations made by its auditors for improving financial reporting and management processes in various public sector entities over the past five years.

EDITORIAL – When private funds subsidize government responsibilities

When the private sector pitches in to shoulder what should be government’s burden, it allows our officials to avoid making tough, but absolutely necessary, decisions.

Review of CarePay debacle complete

The internal review of the Cayman Islands government’s catastrophic five-year, US$13 million dollar contract for hospital patient insurance adjudication services has been completed, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said Friday.

Discovery Day 5K run puts Heart Fund over finish line

The Discovery Day 5K walk/run on Monday topped off the Cayman Heart Fund’s goal of $150,000 to buy a new ambulance for the Health Services Authority.

Premier: Hospital drops AIS, pharmacy contract remains

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority is no longer using the patient health claims adjudication system managed by Advanced Integrated Systems (AIS) Cayman Ltd. and its former Jamaican business partners, Premier Alden McLaughlin confirmed Wednesday.

Hospital immunity clause approved for repeal

A controversial section of the Health Services Authority Law giving immunity from prosecution to negligent doctors and nurses was approved for repeal Friday, after a unanimous vote in the Legislative Assembly.

Archer: Civil service health co-payments ‘accepted’

It has been “pretty much accepted” that the Cayman Islands civil service will have to start paying a portion of their own healthcare premiums by 2018, Finance Minister Marco Archer said Thursday.

Vaccine week will include free immunization clinic

The Cayman Islands is joining other members of the Pan American Health Organization to mark the 14th anniversary of Vaccination Week in the Americas.

Thousands turn out for DG’s run/walk

More than 1,000 registered runners and walkers took part in the Cayman Islands Deputy Governor’s annual 5K Challenge on Sunday to raise money for a new Health Services Authority ambulance.

Blanket immunity

Lawmakers to debate removal of hospital immunity clause

Government will consider a bill to amend the Health Services Authority Law to repeal a controversial clause giving blanket immunity from lawsuits to its staff.

Health Services launches survey

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority is running a survey to gauge patients’ experiences using its services and the level of care they are receiving.

EDITORIAL – Moving toward a healthcare policy of ‘doctors without borders’

It took years Health City to our shores; but now, it seems there are public officials who are doing their utmost to chase them away … in the name of (get this) “competition.”

Chief HSA doctor says Health City has unfair advantage

While praising the services and professionalism of the Health City Cayman Islands staff, the Health Services Authority’s top doctor said last week that the medical tourism facility has some unfair advantages over other local providers with which it is now competing.

Premier: Hospital immunity to be removed

Patients who are victims of hospital negligence will have their right to seek compensation through the courts returned once legislative changes are approved, Premier Alden McLaughlin said Thursday.

Legislature debated hospital’s legal ‘immunity’ in 2004

Amendments to the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority Law that a local judge said provides authority employees with blanket immunity except in cases where “bad faith” is proven, were fully debated more than a decade ago with the ruling government supporting the legal change over the protests of then-opposition members, the Cayman Compass can reveal.

EDITORIAL – When government can do no wrong

What immunity clauses such as Section 12 of the HSA Law do is create a climate of “victors versus victims,” where the victors are the public agencies, and the victims are the ordinary members of Cayman society.

Legal immunity goes beyond hospital

The controversial immunity clause protecting negligent doctors from lawsuits is replicated in at least five other laws, including the National Roads Authority Law and the Development and Planning Law, which was passed last year.

Malpractice

EDITORIAL – Opting out of public healthcare

It’s official: Not even the government wants to be locked into the government’s healthcare system.

HSA employees do not use gov’t insurance

A number of Cayman Islands public authorities, including the Health Services Authority, do not maintain employee health insurance with the government-run Cayman Islands National Insurance Company.

McLean: Medical staff were never intended to have legal immunity

Negligent medics were never intended to have blanket protection from being sued if a patient is killed or injured as a result of their mistakes, according to the health minister responsible for the legislation.

Public sector agencies change job application forms

Two Cayman Islands public sector agencies have pledged to change application forms for future recruitment efforts following revelations that a number of government entities were asking questions about applicants’ “nationality at birth.”

Health chiefs paid negligence settlements

The Health Services Authority has paid out-of-court settlements to at least eight people who brought medical negligence claims against it since 2005, according to an affidavit from CEO Lizzette Yearwood.

HSA immunity should not extend to clinical negligence

It was interesting to read your editorial of Feb. 25 in which you called the immunity provision “legislative malpractice.” Justice Williams also expressed his discomfort with it. It should be noted, however, that this provision is found in most statutes in Cayman creating public authorities.

EDITORIAL – HSA immunity: Legislative malpractice

The Cayman Islands Hospital ought to put up signs to enlighten patients as to government policy: “Management and staff (including physicians) are not responsible for any injuries or deaths that may occur.”

EDITORIAL – Auditing the CarePay audit

When identifying the factors for gross financial malfeasance, accountants are okay, but police officers are far better. The difference is that accountants carry calculators, while the police carry handcuffs.

Medical profession honors Dr. Kumar

The Cayman Islands Medical and Dental Society honored Cayman’s former Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar with a long-service award at its annual gala.

Details of ministers’ meeting with CarePay witness revealed

Former Health Services Authority Chief Information Officer Dale Sanders said Tuesday that he did not accept any reward or contract from Cayman Islands government ministers as a result of a private meeting in Washington, D.C., in 2013.

CarePay: Health ministry, HSA face audit

Cayman Islands Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has ordered government’s internal auditors to look into events surrounding the award and implementation of the CarePay hospital swipe-card contract, in the wake of what were described as “shocking” revelations during former Health Services Authority Board Chairman Canover Watson’s criminal trial.

Time short for Watson appeal

The deadline for Cayman Islands businessman Canover Watson to appeal his Grand Court conviction on five fraud and corruption-related charges is Friday.

Health chief reveals new criminal probe into CarePay

Withholds information on IT contract

CIFA members involved with CarePay pharmacy deal

At least three members of the Cayman Islands Football Association, including Canover Watson and Jeffrey Webb, intended to benefit from the creation of a new pharmacy business.

Cayman fighting Zika before it gets here

The red and white Mosquito Research and Control Unit plane began making the rounds this month, joined by truck-mounted foggers on the ground, to kill the mosquitoes blamed for spreading the Zika virus around South and Central America.

Artists invoke hope in cancer fight

Cayman Islands artists helped spread a message of hope for cancer patients, survivors, and their friends and families with works on display at the Cayman Islands Hospital’s Chemotherapy Unit.

EDITORIAL – The verdict on the verdict: A good start

The conviction of former Health Services Authority chairman Canover Watson for fraud and breach of trust answers one question about the public hospital system’s CarePay scheme, but raises a legion of others about corruption, complicity, indifference and incompetence in the highest levels of the Cayman Islands officialdom.

CarePay trial: Watson begins serving sentence

Convicted fraudster Canover Watson, 45, began serving his seven-year prison sentence Friday on charges of conspiracy to defraud, fraud on the government, breach of trust and conflict of interest following a Grand Court verdict in the CarePay trial.

BREAKING: Watson sentenced to 7 years

Millionaire Caymanian businessman Canover Watson was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday, one day after he was found guilty of five out of six criminal charges against him in connection with the CarePay hospital contract investigation.

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