Healthcare (regulations, facilities and practitioners) in the Cayman Islands took centre stage in 2020 with the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, the nation was well-poised for a rapid and agile response: With three fully-equipped hospitals, over 200 registered healthcare facilities (including pharmacies, laboratories, physician practices and therapy clinics, alternative medicine clinics etc.), over 500 registered practitioners, and numerous private specialists, all stakeholders in the field came together in an unprecedented manner to help establish and execute on a plan that would result in Cayman becoming one of the few ‘COVID-free’ countries in the world.

Health City Cayman Islands and Dart have announced plans to build a $100 million hospital, specialising in cancer and neo-natal intensive care, in Camana Bay.

The new hospital, which Health City’s Clinical Director Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil said is expected to be completed within two years, 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 project will include a satellite cancer-care clinic based in Cayman Brac.

Chattuparambil, speaking at a press briefing to announce the new 70-bed Health City Camana Bay hospital on Friday, said having a medical facility located close to George Town and Cayman’s other hospitals, would greatly improve the outcome for any newborn needing medical care. He added that the importance of providing emergency and critical services at the new Camana Bay hospital “cannot be overstated”.

“There have been many instances of lives lost between George Town and a trip to East End – a trip that does not seem far when visiting a friend on a Sunday but when a loved one has had a heart attack, stroke or been involved in life-threatening trauma, seconds and minutes count,” he said.

Before the new facility gets under way, Health City plans to open an interim satellite centre at Camana Bay, where chemotherapy can be administered and consultations with specialists can be done, Chattuparambil said.

Shomari Scott, chief business officer at Health City, said the rationale behind building a new hospital at Camana Bay was simple – bringing medical facilities closer to where the majority of the island’s population lives and works.

healt cayman islkand camana bay

A five-hospital island

The announcement about the new hospital comes less than two months after Gene Thompson, who previously had been involved with the development of Health City, and Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare held a press conference, with government officials, about plans for their new US$350 million, 500-bed hospital at an as-yet unannounced location.

If both projects go ahead, this would mean there would be five hospitals in Grand Cayman – the two Health City facilities, Aster Cayman Medcity, Doctors Hospital and the Health Services Authority’s Cayman Islands Hospital.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, speaking at the press briefing, said, “With the uncertainty that the global pandemic brings, it is more important than ever that we encourage healthcare projects that close healthcare gaps, giving residents greater access to more services locally without having to travel overseas.”

He welcomed the announcement, saying the expansion of Health City would create more healthcare choices for local residents.

“Our population is aging and a rising demand for healthcare services both in Cayman and across the Caribbean is a challenge we will have to face. But this investment by Health City is another opportunity to reinforce Cayman as a flagship medical tourism destination,” he said.

McLaughlin said the concessions and duty waivers already in place for Health City would apply to the new facility.


Proximity to landfill

The location of the new hospital is relatively close to the George Town landfill, most of which, over the past year, has been covered with aggregate.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said a signing of a deal to finalise a contract between government and Dart for a new waste-management system at the landfill was expected within the next three weeks.

A consortium led by Dart’s construction firm Decco was announced as the preferred bidder on the project in 2017, but a final deal has yet to be inked.

Cancer and neo-natal care

In 2019, Health City broke ground on a dedicated cancer-care centre at its East End site, but work on that project has ceased, and it will be replaced by the new facility in Camana Bay.

Seymour said radiotherapy for cancer patients and neo-natal intensive care “have long been identified as key areas of healthcare needed for the healthcare security of our country and the wider Caribbean. With this announcement, we have achieved that.”

Health City representatives said the new hospital would not only provide services to the local community, but would also be a medical tourism facility, catering to patients in the wider Caribbean, Canada and the United States.

Dr. Devi Shetty, founder of Health City, speaking via Zoom at the press briefing, said the COVID-19 pandemic had forced every country to become resilient and self-sufficient. “Our dream was that no Caymanian should leave their country for any of their healthcare needs,” he said.

He added, “Within the next few months, we will launch one of the most advanced cancer centres in the western hemisphere,” and outlined some of the innovative cancer-care treatments that are available at his hospitals in India, including CAR-T cell therapy and bone marrow transplants.

“Health City at Camana Bay will also have the most advanced critical care department for adults and children because we want every emergency patient requiring instant life support, with artificial heart and lungs, to be treated within minutes,” he said.

Shetty said adding oncology care to Health City’s slate of offerings would make the facility, and the Cayman Islands, a more attractive option for patients looking overseas for medical treatment, as well as a place where people may choose to own a second home, knowing that full healthcare coverage was available here.



Scott said the partnership between Health City and Dart was a “brand partnership”, reflected in the name of the facility – Health City Camana Bay. He added that the two entities had “an arrangement” over the land on which the hospital will be built.

Asked if Dart’s construction company DECCO would be building Health City Camana Bay, Scott said discussions were under way about who would build the main hospital, but contractors Arch & Godfrey would construct the radiotherapy component of the facility.

“As we build out further, we’ll be working to Dart to figure out who we will use in what different areas,” he said.

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