Medical visionary due in Cayman to finalize plans

| 16/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Health news, Dr Devi Shetty(CNS): The move to develop a major medical facility in the Cayman Islands has taken another step forward with the announcement that Dr Devi Shetty will be coming to the Cayman Islands next month to finalize the plans for his hospital. Dr Shetty’s decision to choose Cayman for his latest project is being heralded as a step towards the goal of attracting medical tourism. The facility, during and after its development, could also offer a significant boost to Cayman’s domestic economy, offering work and business opportunities for local people. A spokesperson confirmed that the project is still very much on the table.  

“We are pleased that the ‘medical tourism complex’ envisioned by Dr Devi Shetty is moving forward,” said project spokesman David R. Legge. “Grand Cayman’s proximity to the United States, its world-class infrastructure and transportation links, and the current government’s emphasis on inward investment make this an ideal project for the Cayman Islands. It will bring substantial economic benefits, including employment opportunities, to the local community.”

Although the full details of Dr Shetty’s plans for Cayman have yet to be revealed, he has said he aims to serve Americans in search of lower-cost medical care. The plan, he says, is to build and run a 2,000-bed general hospital where procedures, both elective and necessary, will be priced at least 50% lower than what they cost in the US. Dr Shetty has said he hopes it will draw Americans who are either uninsured or need surgery that their plans don’t cover. The facility will offer low cost healthcare to Caymanians as well as boost the local economy.

“Medical tourism is one of the fastest growing ‘new industries’ in the world and countries are embracing it to improve healthcare for their citizens, lower local costs for major surgeries and procedures, and re-energize their economies,” Legge said recently. “Cayman, given its proximity to the US, appears especially well-suited to bring medical professionals, patients, and infrastructure to its shores.”

Dr Shetty, who was Mother Teresa’s personal heart physician, says he wants to make Cayman a centre of excellence in healthcare. At his flagship 1,000-bed Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital, surgeons operate at a capacity virtually unheard of in the US, where the average hospital has 160 beds, according to the American Hospital Association.

Narayana’s 42 cardiac surgeons performed 3,174 cardiac bypass surgeries in 2008, more than double the 1,367 the Cleveland Clinic, a US leader, did in the same year. His surgeons operated on 2,777 paediatric patients, more than double the 1,026 surgeries performed at Children’s Hospital Boston.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is a good idea should the plan of quslity health care and surgeries be extended to Caymanians for services not done locally by full time residents doctors. It will help in lowering the cost of health care.

    Right now , for services done by locally resident doctors, we are  exploited by the visiting ones from Canada erc.

    Put safe guards into place and welcome these guys with open arms

  2. Anonymous says:

    He should be setting up a booth at our Job Expo this weekend to expose our young people to the many many different areas that they can go into in the medial field.

    From the look of the companies that are going to be there its the same old same old boring lawyer, accountants, banks etc. Why are we not encouraging and exposing our kids to other careers like auto mechanics, beauticians and spas, dental technicians, medical assistants, lab technicians, emt’s, paramedics and the list goes on and on and on.

    Please can we start thinking outside the box and getting our kids qualified in other areas.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bring this venture to the Brac. Dr. Shetti should buy the Divi Tiara site and build his new hospital here. Just what the Bracneeds a major development like this and it will be wonderful for the recovering patients – peace, tranquility, safety and privacy. Lets bring this to the Brac.

  4. Marek says:

    I like ‘glitters’ who proposes 15 questions and assumes that because they can’t answer them … the project must be impossible to complete.

    Non of us is of course qualified to answer those questions to any great degree but Goggling will provide you with quite a few answers. Local knowledge of the real estate markets will provide more answers… like ‘where’… there are several very well placed lots in the East End that exceed 150 acres  that is 6 million square feet of land space. Assuming 40% were left vacant, you have 3.6 million square feet … if you built three story campus style buildings then you could in fact build 10 million square feet of space.

    Assuming 500 square feet per hospital bed for the bed itself and then common areas and service areas, a 2,000 bed hospital would only be about one million square feet… so indeed … this is extremely do-able.

    Piccadilly is five four story buildings of about 40,000 square feet each or 1/5th the total size of what would be required… or about five times the size of the new government building.

    We don’t instantly get 2,000 beds. They would most likely build 350-500 beds, then expand, expand again and then finally add the remaining 500 beds in perhaps 5-7 years.

    Housing isn’t a problem, we currently have about 2,000 vacant units, half of those would be rented by outside contractors…  there are not enough contracts on island to build on this scale.

    The cost to build would exceed $2 billion… hospitals cost in excess of $1.2 million per room… government fee’s between import duties and work permit fee’s would approach $500 million …

    All hospital guests would more than likely come with family requiring stay over housing, car rentals… then there is recovery before travel.

    The number of new locally owned businesses that would be started to service this enterprise would be nothing short of huge.

    The assumptions about 10,000 staff are correct… and 2,000 guests … who bring 4,000 friends…

  5. Anonymous says:

    The reason for the negativity you read is this is totally unrealistic for here. Americans will not be flocking here as insurance companies will not pay for offshore treatment and those that are uninsured, well, duh! they don’t have the money to come here; do you realize how expensive it is to travel her from the U.S. and stay any length of time? Also, the U.S. has Medicaid that covers the indigent and they won’t approve this either. Why would American insurance companies and the government approve care in another country when the U.S. has world class healthcare in their own country? The wealthy of the world go to the finest hospitals in the world like Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, etc.  I think this doctor should be commended for his work with poverty stricken areas, but I think his "vision" here is very misguided if he thinks Americans will be his clients. Maybe the Caribbean, Mexico and South America will benefit more from it and that would be great. I wish him all the best.

  6. Normal Cayman People says:

    Welcome Dr. Shetty. 

    Please don’t let the free speech offered by CNS and taken advantage of by a few people with ill-conceived notions of economic development detract you from enjoying a true Caymanian welcome to the Islands.  We are very pleased to have you here and we look forward to doing business with you.  We are grateful for the opportunity for our mutually-beneficial project to advance the offering of medicalservices in this hemisphere.

    Welcome, and thank you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I, for one, think this opportunity needs to be fully explored and I can’t understand why individuals are so quick to criticize.  Perhaps we should ask some of the unemployed or the soon to be released school leavers if they think adding another major component to our fragile and vulnerable economy would be a good idea or not.  There is no doubt the hospital will be largely staffed by Indian expatriates but there will be huge economic benefits particularly in the area of stay-over tourism when patients’ families accompany individuals to the Island for treatment. Come on Cayman, let’s keep an open mind and  show Caymanian hospitality to Dr. Shetty when he arrives.

  8. No fool from East End... says:


    I am really starting to think now; our elected folks have no common sense!!!
    Do they realize all the different intricacies that has to go in building a hospital with 2000 beds, first on the list would be proper infrastructure, the Cayman Islands just don’t have what would be required to build this, this is insanity!
    Maybe 500, but 2000 is impossible. 8000 to 12000 staff would be required for 2000, let’s get real.


    • Fool from East End says:

      That’s why we’ll leave building the hospital to Dr. Shetty and an army of expats, and leave organizing the infrastructure to someone like Mr Ryan or Mr Dart.  They had no problem sorting out the requirements for the Ritz and Caymana Bay.  You can hire town planners to sort things out like that.

      I agree though that the facility will have to be mostly self-contained, since Cayman can’t support things like housing and providing for the staff in it’s present state.  Dr. Shetty will have to design and build all that into his facility.

      This won’t be Cayman’s cow, but it should flow plenty of milk for us to enjoy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There is no clue within government, let alone a plan, regarding how the massive upgrades fo infrastructure required for this huge project is going to be paid for. We are seeing yet another example of government by headline with no thought about the longterm implications for the country. Short term political gain plus economic gains for politicians and friends but long term pain for the average person.

    Let’s see which politicians and which cronies are set up to be the only ones actually getting real benefits from this project. Exclusive real estate deals, paving and security contracts,……….. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    All that glitters is not gold.  I hope that careful consideration is being put into this project as there are lots of unanswered questions, I have a few:

    1)  Where is the proposed site of this hospital?

    2)  What will be the impact of such a large development on the community?

    3)  What is the infrastructrual needs of such a project ?

    4)  Will the Government impose an environmental impact fee?

    5)  Will the Government give a concession to the developer?

    6)  Will only local contractors/firms be used in the construction?

    7)  How many construction worker are needed for this project?

    8)  If construction workers are recruited will they come from our region?

    9)  Where will the medical staff come from?

    10) Will certain position be reserved for Caymanians only?

    11)  Cayman has always been an expensive place to do business and Labour is in short supply and not inexpensive , so why did the developer choose Cayman for such a large development?

    12)  Was the developer guaranteed cheap labour?

    13)  Will the country be able to deal with the medical waste?

    14)  How much less will medical cost/care differ from what the average American & European pay in their country

    15)  Will the cost of providing health care at this hospital be so inexpensive that Europeans, Asians and people from the Middle East  will find it cost effective to make the journey?

    Finally will this developement enhance the lives of  60% of the Caymanian population or will it have a reverse effect?

    Remember the Ritz Carlton, I am still waiting to see the real economic benefit that it has brought to the mass of Caymanians. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "Remember the Ritz Carlton, I am still waiting to see the real economic benefit that it has brought to the mass of Caymanians".  So true!  The greatest economic benefit it has brought is to the developer, who incidentally Mac made a Caymanian in his 2003 mass grant exercise, so I suppose that is the Caymanian they were referring to.

      Now, go and find out whether or not the Ritz concessions for custom imports has been reinstated since the May election. The answer could be interesting during these hard economic times when Mac is set to cut civil service salaries and jobs, thus putting more Caymanians out of work. If it is so, find out how much it is costing Cayman to give up these Customs duties. Please, someone carryout that little exercise! We the people need to know!

      • Anonymous says:

        Please explain how much in customs duties you are losing if the Ritz was not built….Come on idiotic to say the least…Fees to Government alone on consumables / through puts and work permits per year exceed 10 million…That money goes to pay Caymanian Civil servants salaries build roads and schools…Need your eyes tested or your head?

        Oh and when people bought residences at the ritz they paid stamp duty so that’s another few million…

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets kick all these big bad businesses off the island and move back into grass huts.

      If you do not see the ripple effect to the local economy by having the Ritz in Cayman then you need to change your glasses.

      I hope this project moves forward as I believe it will greatly benefit the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      I too hope they answer all of these questions.  I believe people forget how small the Cayman Islands really is.  I am all about opportunities, but only if the benefits outweigh the negatives. 

      I wonder if he realises that Cayman, has a higher cost of living than some other countries that offer cheap medical procedures.  He may want to investigate the cost of electricity alone :-S

    • Afraid to Strap on a Pair Also says:

      Why Any Thumbs Down?  None of these questions can be answered.  Shall we take the toxic waste to Mt. Trashmore?  This idea is less than half-baked;  it’s not even in the oven.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here is a challenge for you. Make one suggestion that will bring economic benefit to the mass of Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Economic benefit to the mass of Caymanians:  FREE GAS! 

        • Tooterator says:

          People like you are full of gas already – the extremely malodorous kind.  Stop farting into the internet and come up with a real idea or comment.

      • Hallowe'en Jack says:

        Discovery of oil fields in the North Sound

      • Goldfish says:

        Who cares about the masses?  There are plenty of them anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember the Ritz Carlton…

      By most calculations the Ritz generates over 10 million a year in Government revenues…Import Duties – on everything – Their exemption was only on building materials…Work Permits, Stamp Duty through the sale of Real Estate, 10% Accommodation tax…The Ritz cost about 80 -120 Million a year to operate 80% of that is pent in the economy, raising GDP – Ohh and by the way the revenues it generates fro Government go to build schools roads pay civil servants salaries etc…The impact has been huge any and all economists will tell you the same…The Ritz like any other business is a business – get rid of the entitlement mentality…

  11. Anonymous says:

    The old Hyatt Hotel is the perfect location and building to be used for this project being close to hotels for family members and in the middle of everything for both visitors and patients alike. Just think how this location would be a huge boost for the businesses surrounding the Hyatt building, Camana Bay and the entire West Bay Road strip. Gut the building and build the hospital at the Hyatt and over half the time has been saved to get this project up and running on line in our economy. There is also room for expansion, so make it happen Cayman.

    • Sir Henry Morgan says:

      That building is rotten. It all needs to be torn down and start again.

  12. Anonymous says:

    i’m sure his plans will change dramitically once he visits cayman…… cayman cannot do low-cost anything

    • Anonymous says:

      most of the cost includes insurance, lawsuit protection against the doctors and surgeans etc. This hospital can operate cheap if they drop that and let you sign a waver basically saying come here at your own risk!

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t think it is that easy! I am sure there are laws in place here that deal with some sort of regulation which can not just be waived.

        • Legal Eagle says:

          Don’t forget that Mac is our fearless leader, and the head of the governing party.  It would be a small thing for him and his pals to pass a law that says Dr. Shetty’s liability for medical malpracitice (or anything else) is limited by law to $100,000.00, and that would be easy as pie to insure.

  13. Ciwil Serwant says:

    They takin CINICO?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Good to see this project is still being pursued.  It will help get the economy going again, but it also will offer our youngsters more opportunity in the future for careers in the medical field here in Cayman.

    I hope Govt and the private sector can work to make this a reality.

  15. Anonymous says:

    2000 civil servants just found their new home…congrats you earned it. Not…

  16. Anonymous says:

    So it’ll develop local businesses – like contractors you mean? The same ones willing and ready and reserved to work on the schools? Oh wait, except this time they’ll get paid so now the way forward in education (yes, yes we know they’re wasteful monstrosities but they need to be finished now) will be put on the back burner yet again.