Shetty tells BBC Cayman hospital will prove his point

| 09/01/2012

MDG-Dr-Shetty-006.jpg(CNS): The renowned Indian heart surgeon who has plans for developing a medical city in the Cayman Islands says the hospital will demonstrate to the United States and the rest of the world that affordable health care is “doable”. Speaking to the BBC’s Stephen Sackur on Hardtalk on Monday, Dr Devi Shetty denied that the Cayman project was about profit but he said it would show that it would be possible to deliver affordable quality health care to patients at half the cost of that provided in the States. He told the BBC interviewer that it would be a forerunner for taking his model of healthcare beyond the boundaries of India and into the African continent.

Dr Shetty said that the way health care is currently run is the next disaster waiting to happen as the model in the UK, Europe and America was seriously flawed, with more than 70% of health care costs being spent on staff because of the shortage of qualified doctors all over the world. He said he wanted to see a global medical university dedicated to producing the number of doctors and qualified medical technicians that would be required to make his model work in which he said the physicians and medical staff play a crucial role.

He explained that doctors in his hospitals in India receive electronic messages revealing the financial status of the facility where they are working at noon every day to help keep costs as low as possible.

Dr Shetty visited the Cayman Islands last week and at a short press briefing on Friday said the firstphase of the Cayman project – a 140 bed hospital —  was likely to begin in the summer. He also revealed that he  would be partnering with a local education institution to open the Cayman Narayana medical training school by the start of the next academic year to begin training local staff for to feed the facility.

Listen to interview here

BBC World News will also air the programme at  21-30 GMT.

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Category: Health

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Am I missing something?  Why would he choose Cayman?  The cost of everything here is at least twice as expensive as anywhere else.  Maybe he is targeting the wealthy market.


    • Haranguering again says:

      have you ever been to India ?!

      • Anonymous says:

        No, I think the poster is referring to the 100 years of concessions given by McKeeva to Shetty

        on everything – land, utilities, work permits, airfare, custom duty, stamp duty …everything

    • Anonymous says:

      The "cost of everything" is cheap when you've been granted so many tax and duty concessions for 100 years!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The best way to take care of your heart's health is to eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits and exercise.  Another wonderful magic is to consume extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil.  Do you research about the EVCO.  It can even reverse a lot of damage you have done to your body.  Prevention is always better than cure.  And if you do end up with heart troubles, hopefully Dr. Shetty's hospital, when built, will hopefully come to your rescue.

  3. my my says:

    I hope the Shetty Hospital takes a comprehensive view of the development of their beautiful site and has a master plan that includes not clearing every tree, stick and bush, but leaves the patches of native vegetation in areas not actually needed for the buildings. This would help to truly make it the visionary project the developers are touting. Proximity to the natural world has healing properties too. Recovering patients would benefit from a park-like atmosphere that includes Cayman's native trees & plants. There could even be a historic "Bush Medicine" garden to show how far we've come. (and perhaps a little carefully administrated Bush Tea would help the patients too!) – Lets have the best of both worlds – high-tech, state-of-the-art medical care AND remember our "roots".  

  4. Common Sense says:

    Do your research before you make comments please, you will then be educated and informed.  I was very impressed to read about the innovations in what I think is the  best thinking man's publication, "The Economist".  

    Read and judge for yourself…

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really hope that this works out for him (and us) as planned and that the astronomical overhead cost (such as electricity, phone bill, water bill etc) are not going to ruin this project. I really, really, really hope he has done his homework accordingly!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      More to the point, I really hope the gowerment has done ITS homework properly.  My guess is. . .

      • Anonymous says:

        Home work and CI Government shouldn't be used in  the same sentence, that is a grammatical error.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Shetty could also be termed the 'Mother Theresa' of the medical world of heart surgery…heart disease kills more people in the world than any other medical illnesses.

    The project itself is sound and has a proven model on which it is based but…

    If keeping costs low and affordable is the objective, I can't see the rationale of picking the Cayman Islands, one of the highest business costs locations in the entire world…CUC's electricity charges alone for a major-sized hospital will push the operating costs of this facility and service through the roof but, then again…

    Dr. Shetty is targeting rich Amercans  who need heart surgery…and Cayman is still more attractive and safer than some of the other lower-cost Caribbean locations.

    Hopefully, the cost of heart surgery will still be within the means of the local people who will need it; it would indeed be a travesty of justice if the services this facility will provide will only be available for rich Americans.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn't go crazy calling him Mother Teresa just yet. He's made alot of grand promises which are just that, promises.  Press conferences are good but Mother Teresa never made promises… she just acted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seems to me the project is rolling along just fine. What did you do today other than post a snide comment?

      • Anonymous says:

        fIf either of you posters had looked at what Dr. Shetty's hospital model in India is about, you will get my analogy with Mother Theresa.

        Heart operations are very expensive medical excercises and call for very specilalised medical satff and equipment…where on this planet earth can this be provided totallly free of cost to the patient ?…even in Britain's NHS, the medical services are funded by NIN (National Insurnace) taxes from the working population.

        To be providing affordable heart surgery to India's population is a feat that stands to comparison with Mother Theresa's efforts to feed India's poor, in my eyes; India being one of the world's largest and poorest populations.

        Another thing that seems to have been missed is that this hospital does NOTHING ELSE but heart surgery…it is not a general hospital providing a range of medical services but….

        Having said that…I still do not see how Dr. Shetty's hospital will operate as cost-effectively in the Cayman Islands, as it does in a low-cost country like India,….regardless of how much energy saving technology and equipment they plan to use.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mother Theresa was not working for profit, bad analogy.  Only similarity is that they are both indian.

      • Anonymous says:

        You're mighty tough on the guy. He gives away heart surgeries to poor people and has made surgery affordable to a lot of people who couldn't pay for it otherwise in India.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not quite, Dr Shetty was Mother Theresa's heart doctor for 6 years and was inspired by her to set up the facility in India, which I beleive does have charitable activities, offering comprehensive medical insurance for around 11 cents per month (wiki). 

        The one being set up here isn't a charity, and if to be taken at face value is a template for further expansion around the world.

  7. Anonymous says:

    what an amazing human being and he is putting us on the map for right reasons and hopefully take the taboo away that films like Firm and all the negative impressions from the world on being an island where bags of money could be deposited with no questions asked

    I say we are the only  caribbean  Island that has some economic activity happening so we should embrace it and stop being nay sayers

  8. SHETTY-BS says:

    QUOTE: "the model in the UK, Europe and America was seriously flawed…"


    I just come back from a double kidney operation in France and the cost was 1/4 of the price quoted in the US, while the quality and professionalism were outstanding, which is unsurprising, as France is at or near the top of health care quality worldwide…


    The cost was nearly on a par with Cuba, but the technology and quality were far superior…


    An abdominal MRI costs 204 Euros in an imaging centre in Paris, or about CI$230.00: let's see if you can match that in Cayman, where the same MRI costs now upward of CI$1,500.00…


    If you charge 1/2 the cost of the US, you'll make a fortune, unless the patients wise up and go where it's 1/4 of the cost and the quality is top class…



  9. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Why continue to keep the cloak of secrecy over this project?

    If my memory is correct wasn't the first phase to this project to include 2000 beds as set out in the original MOU, now it’s 140 beds, not a good start for USD 1.2 BILLION in concessions!

    Why hasn't Dr. Shetty FULLY released public the feasibility report completed by Deliotte in India with all the numbers, so we Caymanians can have a better understanding of this project that is projected when completed to be 1/3 of our economy??

    Since the UDP Gov’t gave up so much in concession we should at least have a clearer picture of what we are getting in return, this is only fair?

    Why up until now Mr. Kel Thompson and Associates have only release limited information in informal public meetings in small crammed rooms via power point presentations regarding the independent feasibility and economic impact studies and still no meaningful mention of a environmental impact assessments, are they hiding something XXXX?

    We have to ask these questions and not allow these politicians and their cronies friends to continue to hide behind this cloak of secrecy, they act like they own every square inch ofCayman and we the people have no say.

  10. Anonymous says:

    "He explained that doctors in his hospitals in India receive electronic messages revealing the financial status of the facility where they are working at noon every day to help keep costs as low as possible."


    More spin

    Dr. Shetty seems to have identified some 'magic formula' to make money off hospitals when all others are unable to, in an financial environment which does not support it, in one of the most high-cost jurisdictions in the world…wow!


    • Anonymous says:

      I know, absolute BS isn't it?  And our gowerment has fallen for this nonsense hook, line, and sinker!  Listen to the interview and marvel as Mr. Sakur — one of the best interviewers in the UK (listen and lean Austin and Gilbert) — exposes the flaws in Dr. Shetty's global model of affordable healthcare, and reveals his real motives for coming to Cayman: ". . .to show the Amercians. . ."  What affect do you think this kind of comment will have on Mr. Obama's attitude to this evil little tax haven that hides away monies owed to the US treasury?

      • Anonymous says:

        Don't believe what you hear in the movies. Cayman is not an "evil little tax haven that hides away monies owed to the US treasury". It is a major offshore financial services centre which now has some 26 tax information exchange agreements with many OECD countries including an agreement with the U.S. which was signed back in 2001. Obviously if our purpose was the evasion of U.S. tax we would have been finished long ago.  

        Shetty is targeting Americans because their healthcare costs are astronomical compared to everywhere else.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, it's not magic really, anyone can make money if they dont have to pay any bills/expenses for what they are selling. In Cayman it has more to do with the cost of spending rather than the cost of living.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Beware Independants and Opposition followers, it looks like UDP is getting back in for another 4 years!  So… I have to wonder… I have to cry… just what is your plan???  Do you have one???  What is your message now that General Elections is soon to come???  lol… I am laughing and rolling around on my back… here, you guys, you islanders, have made no public announcement of a new party, coalition of independants, or reformation of ppm party, or a party at least with a solid platform… and the funny thing, your UDP, a party led by a man you call dictator, is just gaining all the points. They are creating jobs and bringing back the economy, starting medical tourism in the cayman islands, and still you guys have come up with nothing???  Just incredible, and please stop complaining if you are not willing to do something to cause change. UDP all the way!  Way to go, UDP!! 

    • Dred says:

      Believe me when I say this. This has nothing to do with UDP. If PPM government was in it would go down. Albeit it would take longer but it would happen.

      UDP ofcourse will wave it's flag saying WE DID THIS but in the end Mr. Shetty had his eyes on Cayman because of proximity, stability and probably a host of other reasons only he and his team knows but if PPM had won again it would have been PPM that was approached and I honestly believe even a blind man could see this is a good idea.

      OF COURSE SOME will not like it namely local doctors who are charging an arm and a leg just to see them. Hospitals that charge thousands for the simplest of surgeries also will not like it (and they know who they are).

      The Shetty Hospital will be a game changer for not only Cayman but I believe for the Caribbean and even to a smaller (or larger extent) the US.

      I believe the largest hurdle is still there however and I do not believe it's been fully addressed as yet and that is the acceptance of the Shetty Hospital to the local and regional insurances. Will Insurance providers such as Generali, AETNA, BritCay accept the Shetty Hospital with open arms? How will decreased healthcare cost affect the cost of insurance in Cayman? How will it impact the GT Hospital? These are things that will be played out in the months and years to come.

      I believe the Shetty Hospital to be a good thing for the Cayman Islands more so than any of the other hairbrained schemes Mac has come up with.

      • Anonymous says:

        For your information, Shetty in India, never had his eyes on Cayman. Oh I forgot…. you oppose all the travels of reaching out, incurred by the UDP.

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL. Let me get this right: you think that Mac went to India and persuaded Shetty to come and set up his hospital in Cayman? Don't be ridiculous.

    • LMAO says:

      WTF does this have to do with any political party. It wasn't UDP or Mac's idea! Clown.

  12. The Watcher says:

    I have a trusting feeling about the hospital, and I believe it will do well.  Of course we need to realize that there are going to be outside countries jealous of this hospital being built here, so I hope you all realize that and give your full  support to the hospital.  Because it is a shame what you have to pay in USA for Medical treatment.   Cayman go for it, support it.  I am happy and I believe it will be good for the world, just watch and see.

  13. Dred says:

    Mr. Sackur, people go into business to make a profit not loose money.

    Mr Shetty is no different. The only difference I can see is that he wants or knows how to do it in such a way that he lowers the cost of healthcare while making a profit. That's plus plus not plus minus as we are so use to.

    • Anonymous says:


      Dr Shetty brags in this interview that he sees 80 patients and does 3 heart surgeries in a 18-hrs day.  Even if he's a genius, each surgery will take around 2-hours, so that's 6-hrs.  That leaves 12-hrs (720 minutes) to see 80 patients, which is 9-minutes per patient.  Sorry did somebody mention quality of care?  Honestly, would you like to be one of the 80-pateints that gets a 9-minute consultation for their heart problem?  Are you starting to get a feel for the Shettycost saving model?  WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

      • Anonymous says:

        My coffee smell says I can't get any kind of complicated surgery on Grand Cayman right now.

        • Anonymous says:

          Apart from cardiac catheterization, open heart surgery, and organ transplantation , you can get pretty much every other surgery on island.

      • Truthseeker says:

        Actually, my experience of doctors in Cayman is perhaps a 3 or 5 minute consultation, followed by a bill on the order of $60 to $100. I haven't been for a while, so I may be a bit out of date.

        The exception in my experience is my eye doctor; thank you Dr. Elaine Campbell; you are a star! 

  14. My2cents says:

    Fantastic to see this project moving forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with all you who support this hospital coming to Cayman. I take my hat off to Dr. Shetty, and the present administration, for letting it happen. You mighten like the UDP and Mac, but you cant take away their forsight and vision, and enthusiasm. 

      I want to say this, why are'nt more  enthusiasm being placed on this great opportunity  by our backbenchers, opportunist, independent politicians, also the  parents of our students, that are leaving high school. Instead, i hear the negative bikering on the talk show when ever this subject pops up.

      Mr. Shetty is going to set up a medical school right here in our own Island. He mentioned that one in every seven student ( your children) will partisipate and excell  into  the medical field.

      We have 700 students leaving our high schools every year, this will equate to  70 medical students per year… our children ( the ones every politicians claims to love ) will be  able to participate, and hold down  these jobs within his establishment. but what do we do? we brain wash our loving students with psychological bull shit telling them every day that this hospital will be staffed by Indians..what utter nonsense.

      Parents and grand parents, think back 30 years ago, when opportunities came to our shores, you all got off your asses and seeked those jobs, no matter what typed of jobs there were. Stop telling your children they are not going to be a part of the Cayman dream.  you are ruining them psychologically. That goes for you also…political hopefuls..stop the game you are playing. you are destroying the same ones you claim to love…hypocrites!

      • McCarron McLaughlin says:

        When in the history of Cayman has 700 students left in a year?