Health City aims to save lives with new ICU

| 13/12/2018
CNS Local Life

Dr Devi Shetty

(CNS Local Life): The East End hospital founded by world-renowned heart surgeon Dr Devi Shetty has expanded its services with the opening of a new state-of-the-art medical intensive care unit. It was officially opened Monday, 10 December, with a celebration which included the India-based physician who told the audience that the “best was still to come” with Health City Cayman Islands. He revealed more plans to expand the facility with an oncology department as well as a teaching hospital. But focusing on the new trauma unit, Dr Shetty said it “would save lives” and avert the need for local patients to be airlifted overseas while welcoming patients from other jurisdictions.

Since it opened, the hospital, which was proposed as a medical tourism facility with an eye on the North American market, has turned more towards local services partnering with the Health Services Authority as well as taking patients from around the Caribbean. Speaking at the event, Shomari Scott, the hospital’s marketing director, said the “charting of the journey” for Health City may have changed because of “the landscape we found in the local community and region but the grand vision had not changed” and it was still sailing towards the ultimate destination.

Dr Binoy Chattuparambil, Health City’s clinical director, said the MICU was part of the goal to improve health care in Cayman and the region while keeping down costs. He said it would mean the hospital could receive more patients via air-ambulance, adding to the hundreds of patients from more than 60 countries that Health City has treated since it opened in 2014. But he said it would also provide local medical emergency care, growing the number of patients that do not need to be airlifted out. He said that in 2017 alone more than 300 patients had been treated at Health City that would previously have been sent overseas.

The new unit has more than 20 beds for specialised care, as well as a resuscitation room and an operating room with a heart bypass machine. Aiming to be credited as a level 3 trauma centre, it will be staffed round the clock by specialist physicians and support staff. There are also four negative pressure isolation rooms for when patients need to be contained because of infection.

Health minister Dwayne Seymour, who lauded the hospital, said the government was committed to increasing access for affordable quality health care for Caymanians while continuing to pursue medical tourism to diversify the economy. He said Health City was helping it meet both goals as he welcomed the improved clinical response that will come with the new unit. Seymour added the hospital had taken local health services in a direction they could not have gone on their own as he thanked Dr Shetty for choosing Cayman.

He said the facility would continue to help stem the tide of rising healthcare costs so money could be diverted to education to train a new generation of local doctors.

Meanwhile, the deputy premier, Moses Kirkconnell, said the hospital had earned “a stellar reputation” and helped Cayman establish a medical tourism sector as it was now on the register of international medical destinations.

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Category: Medical and Health

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So much for ‘not competing locally’ and ‘health tourism’. Next step is pay-to-play emergency care. And CIG thinks making a profit off of sick people – in this case now people who will be so desperate not to die they will literally pay anything – will somehow lower the cost. Sad.

    PS> In the USA pay-to-play emergency health care has not lowered costs through competition since when you’re in the ambulance you can’t choose where you’re going. They (rightly) take you to the nearest emergency room (read MICU) who then (wrongly) send the bill later.

    • Anonymous says:

      Emergency rooms and intensive care units are two different things.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can you say that a modern growing hospital is a bad thing? No one else is going to bring a level 3 icu to Cayman. Be happy about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        The issue is that Health City does not have to meet the same standards as every other health professional in Cayman that is licenced by the Health Practitioners Board. Also they are exempt from lawsuits (thanks McKeeva). I am all for medical expansion on the same terms as every other health professional in Cayman. Medical tourism was a bust so they now need the local market to survive. This is just another special interest along the lines of CEC and now Tech City.

  2. Cayman Mon says:

    Anonymous @ 12.07pm. Your point about Women and Coronary Microvascular Disease is well taken. Next time I have the opportunity to speak to someone in authority there, I will enquire if there something in the works to address this important issue.

    Anonymous @ 6.14am. You certainly sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. For such a small Island to have a quality specialist institution like Health City, we should all be very grateful. As a local who have benefited from the cost effective and professional services of Health City, I am indeed thankful that we have this institution here.
    Now as far as the issues you mentioned, these are largely educational in nature and something the Government and other institutions should definitely undertake.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good! This is what women need to be aware of to demand real attention from cardiologists.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Health City cardiac care is still male oriented. I had asked them if they can diagnose coronary microvascular disease or small vessel heart disease, they said: No.

    Women have and die from coronary microvascular disease.

    “Nearly 60 percent of women who have chest pain or suspected reduced blood flow to the heart do not have blockages in the major coronary arteries, making their heart disease more challenging to diagnose for the treating heart specialist.”
    That is why they die before being diagnosed, while males get treatments that starts in an ambulance.

    Women and Coronary Microvascular Disease.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This all good, however, noone talks about prevention. Ever. Prevention won’t fill anyone’s pockets. Medical industry thrives on acute sickness, however, when it comes to chronic diseases it’s useless. There’s no cure for cancer, no matter how advanced cancer facility is, it just extends people’s lives, sometime at the price of intense suffering.
    If it is true that annually 900 cancer patients travel to Miami for treatments and scans, that is a very frightening picture for the country with 55k residents. If all 900 are Caymanians, it is even worse, as half of 55k are expats.
    So Health City expansion is a bitter sweet news.
    What is being done to reduce toxic load on Cayman residents? Appears nothing.
    Health starts with clean air, water and sunshine. On the surface, Cayman has plenty. Then why there’s so many sick people who are in their prime?

    • Liz says:

      Try Healthy eating and exercise instead or gorging our bodies with fast foods. Prepare own meals then you can control what is put in it.

      • Anonymous says:

        how assuming your comment is. I am 112lb and haven’t been to fast food places since my childhood.

        I could really educate you about food&exercise, but you won’t hear my message. May be Bob Harper’ story would be educational for you. However he is still in a darkness as of the cause of his heart attack.

        So lighten up, have your morning coffee or wheat grass shot with a dash of dioxin, since noone can escape it on this island.