Archive for October 10th, 2011

Shetty gets innovation award from global magazine

| 10/10/2011 | 12 Comments

(CNS): The Indian heart surgeon who is proposing to build a health city in the Cayman Island has won The Economist’s 2011 award for business-process innovation. The magazine acknowledged Dr Devi Shetty’s skill as a surgeon but said his innovative contribution to global health care was what won him the prestigious accolade. In a release, The Economist pointed out that by using mass-production techniques Dr Shetty has shown that better health care need not cost more. Despite serving a much poorer population, Shetty’s hospital group earns an after-tax profit of 8%, slightly above the 6.9% average for an American hospital.

“He is renowned for his skill as a surgeon, but we are recognising his additional talent as an innovator, by naming him the winner of our business-process innovation award,” Tom Standage, Digital Editor at The Economist and chairman of the judges panel said.

Dr Shetty founded his Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in Bangalore in 2001 with 1,000 beds, compared with an average of 160 in American heart hospitals. D. Shetty and his staff performed 6,272 heart operations last year, compared with 4,128 at the Cleveland Clinic, a leading American hospital. The Economist pointed out that each operation costs around $2,000-$5,000, compared with $20,000-$100,000 in America.  It also noted that in 2008 Shetty’s hospital reported a 1.4% mortality rate within 30 days of coronary-artery bypass-graft surgery, one of the most common procedures, compared with an average 1.9% in America.

News that the Indian surgeon was first interested in developing a hospital in the Cayman Islands to cater for the North American market first broke here just under two years ago in November 2009. Government signed an MOU with Shetty in April last year for 12 months which was extended.  Since then the government has amended the health care practitioner’s bill and created legislation to limit medical mal-practice pain and suffering damage claims and is currently working on legislation to legalise organ transplants. Shetty also signed a deal in November last year to run a much needed cardiac cath lab at the Cayman Islands hospital, which HSA officials said recently was still in the works but the conversion work on an operating room was still being done.

Shetty’s local representatives recently announced that the team had finally found the right location and announced  in August that the hospital would be built in East End in the High Rock region and denied any problems regarding financing for the project, which had been reported in the international media.

Gene Thompson, director of operations in Cayman for the health-care city project, said at the time that work would begin later this year and officials on the project would soon be revealing more details about the design of the first phase, which is expected to be a 150 to 200 bed facility.

Pleased to hear about the recent honour, Thompson said he was not surprised as his business model was increasingly being studied throughout the world, and that his facilities in Cayman will help establish this country as a leader in the growing medical tourism industry.

The long term plan for the Narayana Cayman University Medical Centre, stretching over 15 years, will include a tertiary-care hospital, an educational facility, a biotech park, and an assisted living community with a capital investment of approximately $2 billion.

See announcement by The Economist

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Local TV drops Island24 in favour of weather

| 10/10/2011 | 28 Comments

(CNS): Local viewers who don’t subscribe to WestStar TV’s paid cable service will lose their free entertainment channel next month when the TV stationswitches off Island 24. On cable the channel will be replaced with a non-stop weather channel — Cayman Weather 24/7 which viewers watching the free over the air television service will not be able to pick up. Cayman 27 is also receiving a HD upgrade and construction work began at the television centre this week.

A team of broadcast engineers are overseeing a complete overhaul of Cayman 27’s broadcast equipment and all of Cayman 27 shows including Daybreak, Cayman 27 News programmes, and the talk shows will be broadcasting digitally in high definition by the first week of November officials from the station said.

General Manager, Mike Martin said viewers will see some temporary changes during the construction phase. “Daybreak is on location at the Ritz Carlton, all news programmes will be live from the newsroom, and talk shows are being pre-taped to facilitate changing out equipment and updating the studio,” he added

WestStar customers can watch Cayman 27 in standard definition on channel 27, and subscribers to WestStar’s HD service can watch in high definition on channel 327. Viewers that receive the signal free over-the-air will still be able to watch channel 27 as usual, the firm said.

The TV station also stated that many of the shows once aired on Island 24 wil now switch to Cayman27. See details of the new schedule below.

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Bermuda opposition says country needs to copy CI

| 10/10/2011 | 0 Comments

(Royal Gazette): A war of words between the government and the opposition over term limits rumbled on last night. On Thursday, the One Bermuda Alliance outlined a raft of emergency measures aimed at turning the economy around, accusing government of “running out of ideas and energy”.The plan included following the lead of the Cayman Islands’ government and suspending work permit term limits for two years while a new policy is worked out. However, the Progressive Labour Party rejected the OBA plans on Friday. "Their commitment to end term limits for foreign workers would be nothing short of disastrous for the Bermudian worker. If implemented, employers at all skill levels would no longer be incentivised to hire Bermudians.”

The OBA hit back last night saying the PLP “deliberately distorted” their position on term limits.

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UK cops to partner locals

| 10/10/2011 | 34 Comments

(CNS): The group of detectives arriving from the UK this week to work with the RCIPS will be partnering with local police officers and not telling them how to do their job, the senior UK cop who organized for their dispatch to Cayman has said. Merseyside’s Chief Constable Jon Murphy told the local press that the twenty officers from his police force and others from around the northwest of England, who have already begun arriving in Cayman, will be here for six weeks only and will be assisting and supporting local officers, not directing them. He said they would be here as “critical friends” to help with the workload.

The senior cop, whose own trip to Cayman turned into a controversy after the UK press photographed him and the two UK senior officers who accompanied him enjoying the beach and the commissioner’s boat on their short ‘working’ visit, said he came to this islands to see exactly where his officers would be deployed rather than as a gang expert, as had been billed, but he had offered some advice regarding the issue.

Murphy is currently head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, which is the body that Baines approached in order to obtain temporary officers.

Murphy said that during his trip to Cayman he and the local police commissioner, David Baines, worked out how best to utilize the detectives during their time here to help the RCIPS deal with the five gang related shootings that occurred over an eight day period last month. “If I had five homicides in eight days I would need help and I have 7000 officers,” the Liverpool based cop told the Cayman press Friday as he commended the RCIPS for the work they were doing under difficult circumstances and limited resources.

David Baines explained that the police detectives coming from the UK would be assisting on the investigations for the most recent murders, past cases and the robberies. They would not be deployed on the streets or be policing hotspots. The senior officers said that the UK staff would each be paired with an RCIPS officer so that they could utilize their local knowledge and the local officer could take advantage of the UK detectives’ experience. They will be involved in house to house enquiries, witness interviews, evidence gathering and preservation, they will examine crime scenes and generally help gather intelligence on the latest crimes.

Four of the UK cops have already arrived on island and a further 16 will be joining them during the course of this week, all of them are expected to be here for a six week temporary assignment only, the senior officers said.

Last year, the RCIPS worked with a team of 14 detectives from the West Midlands on the spate of fatal shootings in West Bay that occurred in February and March. So far, three of those cases have come before the courts but each one resulted in an acquittal. 

With experience of policing gang problems and having been involved in a report about the problem in the UK, the top Liverpool cop said the governor had asked him for the benefit of his experience in that area as well. Murphy said that during his visit he had met with the governor, attorney general, the education minister and other legislators to look at the gang issue here and offer some advice on how to deal with it and on possible changes to legislation. He commended the Cayman Islands for the interagency and inclusive approach it was using to tackle the surge in gang activity.

The trip by Murphy and his colleague, Det Chief Supt Brian McNeill, who is also an official with ACPO, and Det Chief Supt Tony Doherty, the head of Merseyside’s Matrix squad, was paid for by the Cayman public purse.

Although Baines has told the British press that the visiting top cops were putting in twelve hour days while they were here, the Daily Mail published photographs of the senior officers enjoying plenty of leisure time and, having followed them for two days, captured them on film enjoying activities which conflicted with the official itinerary released by Merseyside police.

The official itinerary states that Murphy flew into the Cayman Islands 3 October, arriving at 9pm following a 16-hour flight. On Tuesday, the group started work at 10am and worked through to 6pm before a “working dinner”. On Wednesday, all three officers went for a swim before work at 8.40am, which consisted of various meetings and briefings until 4pm. They then went for another swim, then drinks and another working dinner.

Thursday the men started at 7.45am to draft reports while the chief constable met the Cayman education minister. At 2pm, they went out on the minister’s boat and followed this with a coffee at the hotel. There was another working dinner at 7pm. On Friday, the final day, the group was picked up at 6.30am for a radio interview, then met politicians and briefed them on their findings. They conducted a press conference at 12pm with local reporters before heading off to the airport for 2pm and another 16-hour flight back to Liverpool in economy class.

However, the UK photo journalists who followed the two men throughout Wednesday and Thursday documented a far more leisurely time for the UK cops. (See Daily Mail story here)

Defending the trip to the UK media Murphy said one of his reasons for coming to Cayman was to, “ensure the safety of the team of officers … was guaranteed in a hostile environment.” He admitted that “small amounts” of downtime were included in the group’s itinerary. Baines said the story in the Daily Mail was “a cheap headline-grabbing swipe” and said the visiting cops worked an average of 12 hours a day and had offered “invaluable” experience in gang-related violence.

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