Medical tourism developments in the Caribbean

 

As Health City Cayman Islands and New River Medical Centre in Nevis break ground, both hope to open in 2013 to medical tourists.

Dr. Devi Shetty, his partners and local politicians broke ground at the East End site of Health City Cayman Islands, the new medical tourism centre due to open in November 2013. Dr. Shetty commented that his lower-cost, high quality hospital in Grand Cayman to deliver would not be the cheapest hospital, but ‘the safest hospital in the region”.

US partner Ascension Health Alliance will provide facilities planning, supply chain management and biomedical engineering services, while Dr. Shetty’s group will run the the $2 billion hospital project hospital. One innovation will be remote monitoring of intensive care patients by internists in India, who due to the time zone difference between India and Cayman, are working while it is nighttime in Cayman, when local internists would not normally be working.

The first phase is the construction of a 140-bed hospital, which is scheduled to be operational in November next year, limited to cardiac surgery, cardiology and orthopaedics. Eventually, if all planned developments are completed, it will have 2000 beds by 2163. This would need huge improvement of facilities at Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman. The aim of the hospital is to attract medical tourists from the Caribbean, Latin America and the USA for cancer treatment, open heart and bypass surgery, organ transplants (if the local laws can be amended), angioplasty and orthopaedics. It will also mean that fewer islanders have to travel to the US for treatment.

In Nevis Island, ground has been broken at New River, for construction of New River Medical Centre. On completion in 2013 it will be the region’s first medical and rehabilitation centre. The $15million wellness centre is a partnership with the US based Princeton Health Care of Atlanta, Georgia. This too seeks to stop St. Kitts and Nevis islanders going overseas for treatment and attract patients from other islands and the USA. The 22-bed centre will focus on simple bariatric surgery, orthopaedic, cosmetic and dental surgery.

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