Local doc doubts Shetty plans

| 30/12/2009

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman health news(CNS): Although the proposed plans by world famous Indian cardiac surgeon, Dr Devi Shetty, to develop a health city in the Cayman Islands have been broadly welcomed, local physician Dr Steve Tomlinson has warned that medical tourism may simply not work in this jurisdiction. In a trade journal article the Director of the Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital says that both Cayman law and the cost of living may make it very difficult for Shetty to be able to provide the low cost health care service that he has proposed.

Speaking to the International Medical Travel Journal, Dr Tomlinson said he wanted to reserve his opinion on the issue but for medical tourism to work it has requirements. “It has to be quality service, needs to be less expensive than what the cost is wherever those patients are coming from, and/ or must offer treatment not available in the places where those patients are coming from,” the doctor said.

“Cayman law says that we cannot offer healthcare services that are not already available in Canada, the United States and the UK. I believe that most patients would be coming from those countries. Medical tourism works in some places where people are paid very little for the work that they do because the cost of living in places like Bangalore, India, is much lower than it is here in the Cayman Islands. If you are going to use high-grade medical equipment and supplies it becomes very expensive.”

Several months ago it was announced that Dr Shetty was exploring an initiative to bring medical tourism to the Cayman Islands. Dr Shetty is the founder of the Narayana Hrudayalaya Group of hospitals in Bangalore, India. The plan is to establish a health city in Cayman that would include a 2000 bed hospital and a medical university that would cater especially to the medial needs of patients from North America as well as the Caribbean region and locals. Dr Shetty has said that his plan to cut medical costs by 50% will workin Cayman if he can do the volume of work as he has in his hospitals in India, where doctors perform literally thousands of operations every year

Although the details of when the project will start and where it will be have yet to be revealed, the project, which is an entirely private sector initiative, has received the blessing of government. Before Christmas the premier and the minister of health visited India for the opening of Dr Shetty’s latest facility, and McKeeva Bush has stated that his government is in favour of the project.

“I am talking to Dr Shetty and our government has some interest in his proposed medical facility in terms of our medical tourism plan,” Bush said recently. “We are very supportive of the proposed hospital and we are continuing our discussions. Medical tourism will assist the Cayman Islands and it is a serious plan that Caymanians will benefit from, as it will enhance the services that are currently available.”

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  1. Balanced View says:


    The article and most of the contributors have raised valid points. For a moment, let’s remove the names/personalities and let’s look at some hard facts. If we even started with a 500 room facility and agree that it will take on average 4 persons per bed, that’s 2000 new jobs. Now nothing wrong with job creation BUT we need to ensure that Caymanians are going to benefit the most in the long run directly and indirectly in the short, medium and long term. 
    Let me start with some pros: Provided that Caymanians through govt/private sector scholarships assist with training, Caymanians can look forward to jobs almost immediately. The hospital will need practical nurses, registered nurses, pharmacologists, pharmacy assistants, lab techs. EMT specialists, physiotherapists’ administrators, cleaners etc and over time, we should have our very own Doctors coming back and taking up these positions. If the training starts immediately we will be able to create new jobs for approximately 175-250 Caymanians on day 1.
    Then there is the influx of new persons to our shores. These individuals will rent our properties, buy merchandise in our stores, hook up to our utility companies, purchase vehicles, eat in our restaurants, and in general contribute to businesses. Friends and family of the patients will need a place to stay in the short term so hotels will benefit from greater room occupancy which leads to new jobs in the hospitality industry.
    Here are some cons: The job opportunity will only be realised if we start getting our people trained NOW. Otherwise it will just be another business setup in the Cayman Islands to employ foreign workers and the profits/spoils will only benefit a small handful (director/partners/owners). There are some infrastructure issues too in regards to the increased on our landfill and incinerator. Also there is the possibility of an increase in communicable diseases (remember medical tourism will only work if we offer services that aren’t offered in the US, Canada, and other 1st world countries). There is also the immigration issue regarding key employee: surely a very strong case will be made that Doctors and highly trained specialist will be considered key as there is a worldwide shortage of these kinds of expertise. Then there’s the problem of a new nationality becoming outnumbering all other nationalists. That is a real concern and this argument is currently being used to discount points from Jamaican nationals applying for PR. Then there is the mingling of new religions, values norms etc.  Say what you want but Jamaicans don’t pose this problem for us.
    I have to say that some of what Anon (not verified) on Thu, 12/31/2009 – 03:08 I agree with. For example a real impact assessment needs to be done. As a matter of fact we need to seriously look at how we want to shape the medical profession/industry here and also look at the various impacts – positive and negative – this new mega industry will provide. We then as a country need to ask “how much of the cons we are willing to accept in order to get the pros” (It will not be a zero sum game)or what’s an acceptable level exposure. We then need to put certain things in place to maintain that level of exposure and guard against an increased unacceptable level of risk. Board to verify credentials, boards to certify practitioners and monitor best practice, ethics committees, overhauling of insurance guidelines and stream line insurance to allow greater competition and fair practices. We will also have to usher in a min. wage by industry to ensure that their isn’t the continuation of labour exploitation practices (which unfortunately is a big hurdle to cross as min. wage works against cheap labour and against the possibility of offering excellent service/treatment at greatly reduced rates). We all know that businesses aren’t good at regulating themselves. I might add here too that just because Dr. Shetty was Mother Theresa’s physician, that doesn’t make him a pope or a saint. For all we know he may not even be of the Christian persuasion! He’s still a business man and in the business tomake money; let’s not deceive ourselves.
    Further, I hope that this “hands off, I’m not involved approach” by gov’t is not a sign of the approach they plan on taking going forward and are waiting to see a proposal before they speak in greater detail on the matter. There must be some level of responsibility accepted by the gov’t and they must not fall down on their responsibility. They have the time now to properly assess fully what need to be put in place in terms of infrastructure in order to manage this process/project. Let’s not kid ourselves: This is not just another hospital coming to Cayman, this is a hospital city coming to Cayman!
    Also on another note, while we do have a over supply of jobs on the island these jobs for the most part are highly skilled. Semi skilled and unskilled labour opportunities have unfortunately been contracting since the late 90’s (found in the construction and hospitality industry). Moreover, business has been able to bring in cheap labour making these jobs unattractive/prohibitive for Caymanians. There is an economic term that is tossed around “whatever the market can bear.” What we need to remember is that the term is often shortened/misquoted. The obvious need to be said “Whatever the local market can bear.” Remember a market consist of buyers and sellers, employers and employees. It also needs to be assumed that professional ethical businesses recognise and understand the importance of protecting/safeguarding the environment. Farmers don’t abuse the soil, Caymanian business owners shouldn’t exploit laborers – especially their own Caymanians (that sounds like a jolly good New Years resolution – stop exploiting your own)!!! This will continue until the political players stop being used by the self proclaimed merchant class. As a matter of fact until politicians stop courting this class of elitists, there will be no new wealth created and the wealth will only benefit the local bourgeois’.
    Finally, the Dept of Employment of Employment Relations, in particular the Director, Mr. Lonnie Tibbetts needs to be forced to resign or be fired. He has done absolutely nothing to assist Caymanians in getting jobs. He’s full of excuses and hasn’t had one original idea that has produced a job for a qualified Caymanian. Matter of fact if you look at what the requirements were for the post and what he has, it fits as well as someone trying to substitute a shirt for a pants. He was placed there because of is blood relation to Kurt Tibbetts and his support for the PPM. Rolston Anglin, Minister responsible for Labour, needs to manage the director out of his post… What is required for this post is backbone, vision, the ability to lead professionals, the willingness to work with other depts. like immigration and enforce the law!
    Happy New Year!!
    • Anonymous says:


      (in internet lingo this means too long, didn’t read)

      happy new year

  2. Anonymous says:

    I personally am acquainted with Steve Tomlinson and have been for a lot of years.  He was my doctor of choice until I got a job with the Government and found him above reproach and very caring about his patients.  When the Government hospital surgeon wanted to amputate my mothers foot, Dr. Tomlinson did a minor de-breedment and after 19 years, she is still a diabetic, but still has 2 feet and all the other parts of her body.  The Government needs to stop listening to the empty promises of persons who want to come in here to make millions and prove they are worthy of the massive trust we placed in them when we elected them.

    I have contacted an elected member of government from the Bodden Town area about some pretty serious problems that we are experiencing in our area and, to date, nothing has happened.  Maybe this is the same old UDP;  let’s promise and keep on promising and maybe the cattle-minds will not realise that we have not delivered.

    Keep your eyes open Cayman.


    • Dred says:

      The man has a 1,500 bed hospital. This is not empty. This is something very loaded. You just are shortsighted that’s all.

      I too respect Dr Tomlinson on a personal level for matters I would not discuss here but at the same time he has alterior motives in this matter. If this facility comes he will go bankrupt. That’s the short and skinny because no one is going to pay 3 and 4 times what he can get done down the street. NO ONE!!!

      I am sure Mr Shetty already has an active client base from people who fly all the way to India to see him from the USA. He is not breaking ground from scratch people.

      No one truly knows how successful it will be in the long run but I would say he’s done his homework and probably has a good idea at the kinds of numbers he will be getting. No one invest these kinds of funds blindly. No one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Must protect inflated monopolistic or oligopolistic profits  . . . .

  4. Anon says:

    You know, I am getting real sick and tired of the whole way that the Government likes to stick this "and this will benefit Caymanians too" tag onto every idea and then we fall for it hook line and sinker each time.  Tell me how this is going to benefit Caymanians.  Give me the detail, because I don’t see any benefit for Caymanians at all.  A foreign owned facility comes here, makes money, sends the money overseas.  All the staff are expat, they send the majority of their money overseas.  We have to build more infrastructure, including roads (have you seen the traffic lately!) to support the influx.  The population of the country increases by a minimum of 6,000 people!!!! Think about it, how are you going to run a high quality medical facility with 2,000 beds without a staff of at least 3 Doctors, Nurses and other staff per bed?  In fact it would probably be 4, leading to 8,000 more people in the country.  Is that beneficial to Caymanians. 

    People WAKE UP!  McKeeva is doing the same thing to the country that he has been doing to West Bay for 27+ years.  He is appeasing you and blinding you with the little things, while the big things don’t get done.  He talks pro-Caymanian, but it is for you to get a pittance, while others fill ther bellies.  There is no upside to this for Caymanians.   Need I remind you that we still have over 1000 Caymanians unemployed in a country that has over 25,000 active work permits.  What happened to the linking of the Labour Department with Immigration so our people could work.  It is all smoke and mirrors again. (and please spare me the anti-expat rhetoric – it is a fact that our Immigration system is designed to provide maximum employment for Caymanians in whatever areas they are skilled, this isn’t prejudice, it’s good immigration policy when over halfof the population are expat workers and their families.)

    Let me also point out that this model cannot work in Cayman.  It requires low-costs to work and Cayman’s cost of living is much too high.  The only way to lower the costs involved are to pay really low salaries, and use less than top-class equipment.  These two things guarantee 2 things.  First, that the quality will not be high and second that Caymanians will be deterred from working most jobs at the hospital (remember the 6-8,000 people I told you about earlier).  Let’s also remember that we are competing against Cuba (and other relatively nearby countries) in the medical tourism field.  They are well established in the Canadian, European and Asian markets and poised to open up to American traffic.

    Medical tourism is something that we can explore, but it has to be specialized.  This mass production stuff is not an appropriate model for a small island nation.  This is the mistake that we have made time and time again, we see a model and think that we can apply it here directly.  Sometimes we actually make the attempt to retro-fit the model.  But some models are not made for us.  Some things look like they will generate a ton of cash for us, but that money will not be ours.  If it is quality of health care that we are concerned about, then let’s fix that problem, not create a new one.

    By the way, has anyone done a breakdown of Dr. Shetty’s numbers to see what proportion of his patients are local, what proportion are from nearby cities/towns, what proportion are from the same country but extremely long distances away, what proportions are from countries outside of but close to the country in which the hospital is located -and what conditions are like in the countries from which those people are coming, and finally what proportions are from countries outside of and relatively far away from the country in which the hospital is located.  All of this information is what the Government should be looking at before it gives it’s blessing, so that it can make a true determination as to whether this model can be applied here.  But even if this information is analyzed, there is no way to get around the cost of living piece of the puzzle.

    Finally, suppose I am wrong, and this model can work in Cayman.  Forget about Dr. Steve, what does this mean for the Government hospital.  Do we want to bring something here that is so big that it can kill both local hospitals?  Do we want to put all of our eggs in one basket?  What happens if the model fails later, or Dr. Shetty decides he wants to pull out?  We need to stop getting big-eyed at these things, we need to stop being greedy and then making decisions based on that greed because it is getting us nowhere fast.  The Government needs to think this one through carefully.

    Understandably, Dr. Steve’s comments are conflicted because of a competing interest.  However I think we need to pay attention to him on this one.  But at the end of it all, I can’t, in the face of this runaway rate of development, in the face of the treatment and fight that Caymanians are getting, in the face of the dwindling future prospects in this country for my educated child, accept something that will place 6,000 new people here in one go.  That is moving this equation in the wrong direction and undermines everything that this Government was elected to do.

    • Anon says:

      My friend you have a lot of sense and I agree with everything you write. Just don’t get too heated because this 2000 bed hospital isn’t going anywhere, I don’t what MB is waiting for to pull the plug. Cayman doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure to entertain such a massive project.

      UDP full of BIG dreams and wasted promises.

      • Dred says:

        I think you missed the boat on this one. Thsi is already a done deal we are just late in hearing everything.

        What you need to realsie is by the time we the public hear about things of this nature we are getting really old news by their standards. In otherwords we are on a need to know basis and they are only telling us what we need to know when they want us to know it.

        If you are thinking that BM is backing out of this you are sadly mistaken. Thsi is potentially his legacy on teh line here. Think about if thsi succeeds how the history of Cayman could be changed. Now see it through his eyes. He will be the one who set this ball rolling. LEGACY!!!

        He will be in Hero’s Square and that’s enough to swell his head 4 times what it is now. And trust me he will have his statue bigger than Mr Jims.

        This is a done deal. The only one that I see pulling out of this arrangement is Mr Shetty and usually when people start talking their minds are pretty made up. He’s seen the numbers and he likes what he sees or we would not have heard a peep out of him.

    • Anonymous says:

      My thanks to the person who posted Thu, 12/31/2009 – 03:08. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Let us hope that our ever so eager politicians will read your post and understand the sense in all that you and Dr. Tomlinson has said.

    • Dred says:

      Well I will not say to you this is going to assist us in everyway humanly possible financially but there are many fringe benefits we stand to gain from this should it be successful.

      Airline arrivals will be up cuase patients need to come in.

      Hotels should profit from stay overs of family members of patients.

      Local gas stations should see more business as people need to get around.

      Local supermarkets should see more business cause these people need to eat.

      Some restaurants should see more business also.

      Some construction companies and general contractors should see business from building the hospital.

      CI Government should see money from duties on materials coming in.

      There are many others also such as furniture stores and others who should see some extra dollars.

      YES I would think that a huge majority of the workers will come from India and yes a lot of the money made will go back overseas but some will stay here.

      Also this might present us with the opportunity to get rid of a major headache we have had for a millenium now and that’s GT hospital. Think of how hard it has been controlling the cost there.

      Look I am not saying this is the end all but it will provide us with additional income. And some Caymanians will get employment there and maybe some Caymanians will take the initiative to study at their medical training facility that is to be built also so more Caymanians can find employment.

    • Concern Native says:

      What a commentary ot truths! I believe a person should put their BRAIN in gear before their mouth, simply put. Mr. Bush, please listen to your own NATIVE people and don’t be fooled by the wand of evil doers. You claim to be a Christian with high christian values so please do not be fooled and talked into carrying our great little island into a place of no return. We have enough countries around or near Cayman that its people are suffering. Do let it happen to us please. I don’t have to remind you that the Wages of Sin is Death and when you hurt your people you are hurting you God. Take heed and be patient in your decisions and please consult with your own NATIVE Caymanians.

      May God richly Bless these islands and its Leaders. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    One suggestion Dr. T to cut cost, How about being the first to reintroduce the popular home visiting Doctor on Island.  I bet you will make a licking in the medical market if you get this program revampted.  Most of the diagnosis can be done with the naked eye and a touch anyway, you won’t need any machines or computers, just a stetiscope and a friendly smile.  You can collect cash on treatment or just simply bill the patient to be paid within 30 days.  Insurance companies would probably cry the loudest, but you will build up a great clientele with the residents.  Be the first to acquire a home doctor’s license and Dr. T you will be OUR Doctor of choice.  A lot of people do not like to go to hospitals anyway, so you will be quite surprised to find that you would had networked in your own patients and increased your popularity with your people and reduced the ever combersome paperwork ,tremendously.  Yes Dr. T we all love ya and we will support you if you do this for your people. Love ya man!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I beg to differ with Dr. Tomlinson when he says that in order for medical tourism to work one requirement was that it "must offer treatment not available in the places where those patients are coming from." I remember a news story on 60 Minutes several years ago which focused on medical tourism in places like India and Thailand and one of the major reasons for many US citizens visiting those countries for surgery (such as hip replacements, heart bypass surgery, etc.) was that they could have the same operation performed in India/Thailand at a fraction, i.e. 50% or less, of what it would have cost back home. This savings took into account the airfare to get there, the surgical proceedure and the recovery period. Therefore, it is not that the proceedure could not be done at home, but that it could be done just a well somewhere else, to the same high standard, for a fraction of the cost. That is what medical tourism is all about, and let me repeat it clearly; same proceedure, same quality, for a much lower price. Can we ever offer the same low costs as India? Probably not. However, if the volume from North America is high enough, I’m sure that it just might work.

    • Anon says:

      You misread the article.  Dr. Tomlinson’s point was that Cayman Islands Law reqires that the services offered here must be the same as those offered in USA, CANADA and the UK.  But the rest of your statement actually proves the Dr.’s point.  The reaon you saw a 60 Minutes peice was because they were promoting the services as being same quaity for lesser cost.  Well Cayman is not less cost.  So how do you deflate the cost of doing business and the cost of living in Cayman, a consumption based economy, very senstive to movements in basically any and all external factors?  Let me put it this way, you and I will both be looking for a plane out!  To make this model work in a country that does not already have the required low cost of living you would have to devalue the dollar and lower the cost of labour (that’s our wages) – in other words, create poverty.  Think about it, we have all been complaining about the cost of living here and how things here are more expensive than anywhere else.  Why haven’t we been able to lower the cost of living up to now?!

      • Anonymous says:

        I did not misread the article by Dr. Tomlinson and I did not query his point about Cayman law requiring that the treatment to be sought in Cayman (some time in the future) be currently available in the USA, Canada or the UK. His point on the law was only one of three points that he was making. I said that he was not correct on the point about a particular treatment not being available in the person’s home country in the first place. Usually, the same treatment is available in the person’s home country but at a much higher cost and that is what creates the opportunity for another country with lower healthcare costs to benefit in the form of medical tourism. I also did not suggest that the cost of healthcare in Cayman is low, nor the cost of living. The model that Dr. Shetty is proposing is based on a large number of American citizens travelling here some time in the future if the hospital is ever built, to receive treatment at a fraction of the cost of having it done in the US. The treatment would not have to cost what it would if it were done in India, it would simply have to be lower than if it were done in the US. It would have to be low enough (and be of the same quality) that the person would rather fly to Cayman, which is just over an hour from Miami, than fly to India which would take more than 24 hours to get to. Why is this concept so difficult for some people to grasp? It is entirely based on a high volume of patients from the US seeking the same treatment available back home, with the same high standard, but at a much lower cost! It does not assume that the cost of healthcare in Cayman is low, nor does it depend on the cost of living here being low either.


    • Anonymous says:

      And, I beg to disagree with you! Dr T’s theory is absolutely correct. The determining factor, as you have said, is the cost and like Dr T I do not believe that a high standard of medical care in the Cayman Islands can be offered at such low prices as to attract substantial medical tourism. Remember folks this is to be mainly a cardiovascular care facility and cardio care can only be cheapened marginally, if it is to be quality care. Furthermore, unless the number of patients grows rapidly no cardiologist worth his salt will be here on a full time basis – there are licences to be maintained in this field.

      In my opinion this is a proposal that our government has to be very careful with and the liability to this country must also be addressed if we are going to market ourselves as a medical tourism destination based on the Shetty hospital and its services. I believe that our local doctors and, yes, Dr T is not the only Caymanian doctor, should be consulted on this and their opinions should be taken into consideration.

      • Anonymous says:

        And I beg to disagree with you! Yes, the determining factor is cost as we both acknowledge but costs can come down substantially if the volume is there. That was this is all about. High volume, lower cost than in the USA. One thing that manypeople seem to not realise is that the high cost of medical care in the USA is due in large part to the extremely high cost of malpractice insurance and the subsidising of the many uninsured. Dr. Shetty will not have to worry about paying exorbitant malpractice insurance premiums while practicing in Cayman and his hospital will also not have to subsidise uninsured patients.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to ask, here, why in God’s name would a qualified specialist with 7+ years in training come to Cayman for a 7 year gig?  Or for that matter, a highly trained nurse or technologist?  And why would Dr. Shetty even consider a war zone location like Cayman?  As does anybody have any idea how big a 2000 bed hospital is?  Why is everybody hanging their hats on this ridiculous medical tourism idea?  If you need to believe something so badly, go have a one-on-one with God.  Mac doesn’t have the Midas touch!

    • Anonymous says:

      To: I beg to differ

      You misunderstood Dr. Tomlinson’s point altogether.  What he rightly indicated was that if procedures and treatments could be offered here in Cayman, which are not available in the countries of origin of the medical tourists, then they certainly would have a reason to come.  In other words, it would be a boon for the medical tourism.  However, the laws at present do not even allow this.

      On the surface, medical tourism seems to be a great idea for our economy.  The big question remains, "Is it feasible?"

      If Dr. Shetty offers services better than everywhere else in the world and the wealthy are willing to pay for it…then perhaps.  Or if investors are willing to make…say, $0.50 on the dollar, then, yes.  But do we want that kind of money here?

      Remember, "The wages of sin is death!"

  7. Dred says:

    Let’s male this brutally simple and I hope I don’t leave you Doc too fast.

    I will do this as bullet points.


    1) Is this Mr Shetty’s first run at building a large hospital and running it in this manner? The answer is no. He’s been doing this for a few years now and he has a great deal of success at it.

    2) Does he know what kinds of cost he would incur here in the Cayman Islands? He’s about to invest a billion or two into this project do you not think he would have had a slew of advisors checking out every scenario. How many people do you think investing this kind of money into a project would not look at this project a million ways prior to moving forward.

    3) Where will he get the staff to work at the prices he would want to pay them at? Well he is from India right? Tell me if you were in India and had a chance to relocate to the Cayman Islands to work for a company you are already working for would you consider it? HELL YEAH!!! To them this could be a big break for them.

    4) Will Mr Shetty be offering anything that breaks from Cayman Law? Do you not see Big Mac buying into this already? Do you honestly think anything along that line would stop this project? Didn’t Big Mac already give it his blessing? Do I really need to say more on this topic?

    5) Is Mr Tomlinson someone with alterior motives? Aaah YEAH!! Look if this guy brings this project here and it looks like he will Mr Tomlinson Hospital will be a Ghost town. You will see tumbleweed blowing down the hallways. His prices are already high for GT Hospital now imagine for a hospital that is lower than in the US. Mr Tomlinson could never compete with it. So it’s in his best interest to place the idea of doubt out there. When it is finally on track to come Mr Tomlinson will be back but with more statements of lower quality service and who knows what else.

    Fact is this. While I am not a UDP fan (to say the least) I do applaud this move. This presents something of substance to the Cayman Islands. Once in awhile every dog (Big Mac in this case) finds himself a bone. Thsi is his bone.

    Only thing I will say to this and to Mr Big Mac. You really did not have to try to sucker into buying into this. This project actually has merit and all the hoopla over "the sky is falling" wasn’t necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      What on earth does Mr. Big Mac have to do with this? I thought this was a private venture! Do not tell me Mr. Big Mac is involved in this too? I know that talk has it that nothing gets done unless he ok’s it (like 10% or in his case 20%), but I honestly thought this was a private venture, so why is Mr. Big Mac getting involved? OH OH, please tell me it ain’t so, please!!!

    • Anon says:

      I responded to the other guy above, please read it. But basically let me just say that Dr. Shetty is a medical Doctor as far as I know, not an economist, nor financial guru.  Obivously his system works in the environment in which he built it, it can’t work here.  As far as advisors go, we in this country have paid millions of dollars for top advice in the form of consultants, we got a lot of nothing for it.  And don’t forget, Tom Jones had advisors too.  They advised them that they could low-ball the project and make mad profits.  A lot of good that did the company… and us! We goig to end up right back here in a few years blaming the Government for another hair-brained scheme gone wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tom Jones was a Government project, the medical hospital is not a Government project and ohhh if the Governement used consultants on the schools project they would not have had 20 change orders and asked the General Contractor to build a project from their own pocket…Very bad comparism…This is a private enterpise not Government…

      • Dred says:


        He has a host of advisors running numbers for him. Again I say a billion dollars and you think he hasn’t looked into this from all angles you are silly and don’t ever go into business.

        These guys have many advisors each dealing with different aspects of the business from available technology to immigration matters to financial logistics to legal to you name what.

        Some of you seem to think the guy wakes up one morning, rolls out of bed and says "you know what I will do today! I think I will go build a multi-billion dollar facility in the Cayman Islands. Yeah cause I have nothing better to do with all this money in my pockets".

        When people are not financial gurus they hire them to do the thinking for them.

        Really I shouldn’t have to say all this because you should know this. No one who has gotten the kind of money he has gotten is a fool or has not addressed every angle we could possibly think about.

  8. Watchman says:

    Well; I would not mind another 64 slice spiral scanner like the one at HSA instead of the old 16 slice clunker at CTMH. I also would not mind a report that my doctor can have confidence in, instead of sending a dvd overseas to be read by more experienced and better trained radiologists. I would also like a 3 tesla MRI instead of the 0.8 machines on island currently being passed off as "state of the art". I would also like to see some of these so-called specialists who pracice here have to compete with real specialists whose skills are up to date. Forget the house on the hill, the man has a right to build what ever he wants, what he does not have a right to do is limit choice of us his fellow Caymanians when it comes to health care.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a nonsense. The CT at CTMH is from 2007 and no "old clunker", And if you think a 3T MRI is the way to go then you dont know anything about MRIs. Bigger is not always better. At high field strengths, the magnetic field is
      more inhomogeneous and thus more sensitive to artefacts. In my experience the doctors on island are at least on par with the ones in the US, especially in Miami, where often enough doctors are not trained in the first world and then "upgrade" their registration. I remember a couple of cases where a third opinion from a real top US institue showed the Miami doctors were completely wrong. Check out the honour roll of the 100 best US hospitals on the internet, not one Florida hospital comes up – surprised?

  9. Marek says:

    CTMH is a great facility, but I recently had to have some tests done there and the cost was more than six times what the same tests cost in Miami.

    Some additional cost would be understandable due to increased costs here in Cayman… but not six times the price… there is no justification for that.

    When I mentioned to my doctor that the costs were exceptionally high, he said it was because CTMH was the only facility on the island with that equipment… ‘translation… they charge that because they can and because they have no competition’

    The facility is first rate, but I personally think a little competition might not only be good for business but also… good for the end user.



  10. arlene says:

    no indians here plz, leave our wonderfull cayman doctor, stop trying to run a smart successful caymanian doctor out of business. Dr, tomlinson is the best.

  11. Lobsta Hunta says:

    I think they should build a mental hospital especially for our nut premier, all his little puppets, and lock all their a$$es up in there.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 19:02 I totally agree with you, & no matter how many millions a mental hospital wouldcost I would support it if it was for our nut premier & all his wimpy puppets! Oh how I agree with you there!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Did I not see an article in the compass newspaper today on page 3 that Miami Airport City was planning an expansion on the Airport terminal that could include a huge medical center that will be targeting Tourism too?  Such competition and we have the highest valued currency in the Western Hemisphere, so how are we going to compete with these places? A lot of changes and logistics will have to be worked out.

  13. RamBunkShus says:

    This is a load of rubbish, (I was going to say codswallop, but then it would give away the fact that I am a stinking limey and I hate those damn limeys)

    Anyway, let’s get down to business. Money makes the world go round and if there is no money for BigMan Shetty, then guess what? The world stops.

    I have tried to ignore the bible for most of my life, but I cannot help but hear the words, "Man cannot serve God and money"

    Bring the thumbs up and down. Its ok. Don’t worry.

    Love you.


  14. Mike Hennessy says:

    I never cease to be amazed at the lack of support (to be polite) that Dr. Thomlinson gets from the community at large.  Here’s a man who has first made himself a doctor (an awesome achievement in itself) and then went on to build and operate a fine hospital.  I had an operation there a few years back and Drs Vivek and Glotz took care of a problem that was causing me some chronic issues and it was a good experience, thanks to the quality of the facility and the caring staff.  Dr. Thomlinson personally attended to me for a problem shortly after I arrived on island and was very kind and attentive.  I think it’s a shame that a native son who has accomplished so much and done so much good is not more highly regarded.  He seems to me like a role model to be proud of.  Instead he gets attacked for his lifestyle and what I see as well-earned prosperity.  I just don’t understand it. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I haven’t heard so much stupidity in a long while, Jamaica has tourism Medical, when you hear of so many famous people going on vacation, coming back home with a tummy tuck and all the other good stuff that would cost a mint in the states, this is not for the common Caymanian, it’s for the foreigner who want a procedure done that they don’t want their friends and co-workers to know about, I was under the impression that Dr.T was talking about this a few years ago. Bring it on, it’s more money and jobs for the islands, by the way they do fly Doctors in for a day or two, we do it here. They are called specialist.

  16. 007 For Sure says:

    Thank God for CTMH best in the world would not be seen any where else.He helped me again yesterday and it did not cost me much either.Keep up the good work Dr T.We believe in you.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Shettys Hospital is obviously competition to CTMH and as DR. Steve has a newly built mansion to pay for,  he obviously will try whatever to turn the competition away, therefore as far as I am concerned let the competition come to Grand Cayman, force Dr. Steve to reduce his rates to something more practical and affordable and this should be good for the Caymanian people.

    At the moment I cant afford to seek treatment at CTMH and have to resort to treating myself with bush tea and so on because Dr Steve’s expensive medical treatment forces me to do that.

    Being an ex politician brings certain perks with it and I am sure DR. Steve will be able to convince our Politicians that Dr Shettys Hospital will be bad for the Caymanian populace and therefore send this project to file thirteen like many others in the past.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re correct, Dr. T did look very seriously at medical tourism a few years back; seems his analysis provides the basis for his opinion.  The economic model does not work in Cayman; unless Caymanians are prepared to bring in workers that will take less money than any Caymanian could live on.

      • Anonymous says:

        What I can never understand is if foreigners-Irish/Canadian/Indian/Filipino/whatever-can live on these salaries, why can’t a Caymanian?

        • anonymous says:

          Caymanians can’t because they don’t live in a house packed up like sardines with 100 people living in a 3 bedroom 1 bath hoome !

          My God you think a party’s going on !


          • Anonymous says:

             I realize you’re exaggerating, at least I hope so.  But to suggest that all expats live like "sardines" is ludicrous and does not answer the original question.

            • Anonymous says:

              I was not exaggerating.  Expats are smaller therefore it costs less to house and feed them.  Oh and they don’t expect to be able to buy a house, father three children by the time they are 20, own a wicked blinged out SUV and a couple of blackberries as part of their core expenditure.  That helps too.

          • Anonymous says:

            Just wondering, how much rent do you pay for your place?

          • Anonymous says:

            No it’s not as simple as that 9:09-the Irish,Canadian etc waitresses,waiters, bartenders etc don’t live like that. But they work hard, don’t spend on fancy cars they can’t afford, earn good tips from pleasant service and manage their lives in a more disciplined realistic manner.

          • Anonymous says:

            9:09: A huge exaggeration of course as you well know but the point remains: are Caymanians so "proud" and entitled that they can’t sacrifice in order to earn an honest day’s pay? Think of the people worldwide-esp America (but also in Cayman)-who started with ZERO and by hard work, good attitude and savings made it big (some would say these are the problems with SOME OF today’s Caymanians-quality/hard work/good attitude).

            You don’t have to live 100 to a room-foolishness. But share with one/two people? Stay with family for a while until savings build up? We don’t or shouldn’t need any masseurs, waiters, hairdressers etc etc from abroad but……..

            Alas I think SOME Caymanian youth-even those with no skills or qualifications-want huge lawyer salaries now. SOME of them get them in the drug circles.

        • ANN says:

          Caymanians cant survive like foreigners because most of them are uneducated and lack highly specilaized skills to do anything. They are good to slap pizzas and flip burgers..They find themselves leaving high school and working  as a bank teller and feel like they have acheived the world!!

          I am a RN and when i change my check at the bank , the teller was amazed to see my figures i earn, she says she thought i was a doctor. I told her I went to college for 4years so i deserve what i work for so she is getting what she deserves. Also we dont take out car loans to compete with the Jones’s car.We buy them cash.We dont live in our parents backyard either!

          Dont be haters!.How many caymanians are doctors or nurses.?

          90% of the present health workers are foreigners,and Dr.Shetty’s hospital will be the same.Dr.DeAlwis and Dr.Mohanty should join him!

    • Anonymous says:

      You know it is because of foolishness like this that we can’t get anything done in this country! You can’t afford Dr. T soyou are forced to treat yourself with bush tea! I never hear anything so ridiculous!  You forget that the Government have a hospitla that doesn’t turn anybody away?  If you treating yourself with bush tea it is because that is your preferred method, not because lack of finances is keeping you away from treatment.

  18. Ted Williams says:

    A lot of good points made here.  The ‘only’ missing piece to this puzzle is how Shetty is going to get inexpensive, qualified labor to Cayman….the rest of this project is a go unless you folks on the island(s) prevent he and his investors from doing so.  For the record, one writer states that, "The US has just voted to start fixing its health care system"- – – -Please be corrrected, the US has NOT voted to start fixing the system….both houses of our congress have passed bills that are both filled with mandates that are clearly unconstitutional under our current laws.  Our Supreme Court will pick these apart at first opportunity.  Also know that 5 of Democrate votes in the Senate are by ‘senators’ who were not elected by the American people (i.e., O’Bama’s and Hillary’s successors).

    • Anonymous says:

      Ted Non Partisan please this is an economic reality not a political…the post was intended to highlightthat the US healthcare and Insurance industry make profits from peoples illness(morally in any religion wrong)…The US did just pass healthcare reform, pick at it any way you want…it was passed…The point is Cayman and US suffer from the same problem – marginal healthcare and excessive cost….Shetty has a model that works, he can perform the same operations at a lower cost…simple stuff  really, that’s why his hospital in Bangalore is full of Americans paying $15.000 dollars for a $150.000 operation stateside (At a better succes rate/ Lower Mortality rate than US facilities)….Now I wonder why his hospital is full… I also wonder why he plans to risk a Billion dollars to build a medical facility close to the US for the US clientele?

      SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM…Hence the need for reform…There are third world countries that provide better healthcare and spend way less than the US…

  19. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    Oh there is one more thing I failed to mention: the article says Dr. Tomlinson wanted to reserve his opinion on the issue…but I see he made his comments/insights to a MEDICAL TRAVEL JOURNAL!  Ok…I need to throw that in the mix for consideration and weigh it up.

  20. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    With the greatest of respect for our good caymanian doctor, but, I recall sometime back, recently too, when you were on one of the local talk shows, it may have been an artticle even in our local papers, you talked about medical tourism.  I cam recall you lending strong support to the idea.  Of course it was for procedure at CTMH.  I could be wrong…but honestly the memory has been called an elephant on many occasions.

    That said, your points are valid considerations.  Of course laws may be amended and the business model for this type of "business" does not always mean cheap.  Anyone seen the doctors in Hollywood (watch Dr. 90210 etc) the procedures attract top dollars because the service is top service.  And as they say: the proof is in the pudding – well the doctors all live in hillside manions and own lear jets (if that’s an idicator).

    Any way back to my lil cup of brew…praying I don’t need go to any unna doctors anytime soon.:)


  21. Anonymous says:

    I am amazed at the ignorance of this post and responses, Ask yourself if a 2000 room state of the art hospital offering services not available on island at 50% of the cost of the US market…Let me ask each one of you to re post your opinions as if you where in urgent need of a heart transplant or other major surgery…Your replies would be somewhat different and you would praise Chetty as a visionary and the Hospital as the best thiong to happen to Cayman….I also ask you to consider that any Tourism to Cayman supports local industry and job growth and also generates huge revenues for Governement to pay for your roads schools and protect you from Direct Taxation…

    I would not take advice from a medical professional in the US or Cayman, rememberit is deemed morally correct to make a profit from someones illness in both these countries? What happened to our morality…

    The US has just voted to start fixing its health care system , why has Cyman not followed suit?

    I f you had this hopsital and enough other strong investments into Caymn to help generat Governement Revenues you too could have free Health Care for Caymanians….

    Just look at Singapore….

    Some say ignorance is bliss, sounds like a case of envy (doctor to doctor) one is a true visionary and was Mother Theresa"s personal physician, so I would go with him as he has the moral high ground…and he does care for the poor…I wonder how many free operations for the poor the good local doctor performs?



  22. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Steve!!   Thanks for making sense out of nonsense. Hope more resident doctors support your views and try to help McKeeva to  develop some sense. Think about the implications and the mahor changes this new venture would do to the Cayman Islands.  He has already put us on the road to 3rd. World status, now he wants to be sure we get there by allowing this to materialized.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am sure that Dr. Shetty was told that it would be impossible to provide quality medical care to poor farmers in India, and yet that didn’t stop him from succeeding.

    That is the difference between a visionary and a businessman.

    This isn’t to say that I am guaranteeing the medical city will be build and be successful, I am only saying that Dr. Shetty shouldn’t be underestimated.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Or is this an attempt to talk away competition to protect excessive profit margins?

    • au revoir says:

      Excessive profit margins?  Talking away competition?  Let’s get real.

  25. noname says:

    We can not afford to go to CTMH they charge a arm leg and foot.  We need Shetty.  The way that crime is developing here we may just need 2000 beds.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can probably afford to go there for an arm and leg double amputation then.

  26. Happy camper!! says:

    Thank god there is some semblance of truth left in Cayman. I believe the doctor’s intentions are good, but he’s far from reality and he need to really come and see Cayman for himself and stop taking in the words of a few, who have no clue what is going on.

    2000 beds give me a break.

    Thanks Dr. Steve
  27. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the law needs to be amended to make it that Cayman law no longer says that we cannot offer healthcare services that are not already available in Canada, the United States and the UK.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also if Dr. Shetty only has Indian medical qualifications (even though he trained in the UK) the law/regulations will need to be amended to allow for recognition of Indian medical degrees.  Most of his support staff will most likely only have Indian qualifications.

      • Anonymous says:

        So! What would you expect from Indians, Lobsters?????

      • Anonymous says:

        So what… Ditto…

        Dr Chettys Hospital has a better operation success rate than the best US facilities and offers better qaulity medical services than the US and most first world countries…So that means his Indian and Staff qaulifications must be higher, especially catering to European, Wealthy Asian and North American patients…Better service better price, better health – a free market economy at work…I’ drink to that…