Couple reveals Cayman hospital nightmare

| 18/05/2010

(Winona Daily News): Dana Engel doesn’t remember her husband crying at her bedside in the Cayman Islands hospital pleading with God for her life. Randy Engle does remember the nightmare that their Caribbean cruise became after his wife fell ill and the couple was almost bankrupted paying to keep Dana alive. Despite numerous procedures and surgery, doctors in the Cayman Islands failed, he said, to find the kidney stone poisoning her blood which doctors in Florida reportedly took just 30 minutes to find once she was airlifted back to a hospital there.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Okay, it’s just one case, and we’ve only heard one side of the story; but what a wonderful adverstisment for medical tourism in Cayman! This should give Dr. Shetty something to think about! You see, it’s no good having one good facility — and let’s assume Shetty’s hospital will be such a facility — ALL medical facilities must provide top-class service for the country to build a good reputation for healthcare.

  2. Twyla Vargas says:

    Has anyone asked themselves if this had happened in the USA to a Caymanian, what would be the results?

    I do agree with one commentor, we need to do just like Cuba is doing.  Every visitor should pay some sort of insurance upon arrival, dont care where they are comming from.   .   Some visitors come here, and have extended  extension from the Immigration De[artment for months and months and months, with no Insurance coverage.    " It is a very dangeous call."    If they dop dead who pays?   If they have a baby, who pays?, if they suddenly need to have surgery during that vacation, who pays?    If a visitor cannot afford to pay US$60.00 insurance for two weeks, or   CI$50.00.   then they canot afford their vacation in Cayman.   END OF STORY.  Many of them come here, fall of bicycle, get into car accident, diving accidents and leave a huge bill at the hopital for tax payers to settle.  This is one thing I do hope the Premier take a serious look into.   Cayman will always be soft target for everybody unless those in authority  pull up dem pants foot up to dem  knee roll up dey long sleve sleeve shirt and do what they  have to do..  

    I am sorry that the woman fell ill here,and  I do hope she is doing well where ever she is now.

  3. Anonymous says:

    On the other hand, my child had an operation there recently and my wife and I could not have been more impressed or happy with the pre-op care, the surgeon and his follow-up and the nursing care provided from start to finish.

    Caymanians are spoilt rotten. They should have the medical care that most communities of this size world wide have and they would not be so damn complaining. And of coursemost of them don’t pay -either they are "entitled cases" (seamen, indigents, civil servants) or they just run to their MLA and claim poverty as they roll down the electric windows of their SUVs.

    For every complaint from this cruise passenger-possibly quite legitimate though where was the health insurance-there are over the last 20 years many totally opposing views from such people who have ended up here which is why the cruise lines bring them here when they have health problems.

    On the question of air ambulance, a Caymanian family (we all know who) has sewn up this operation for the last 25 years at least and no Government of any persuasion has been prepared to take them on, put them out of business for a better (foreign funded) service so, Caymanians, stop bitching about it. It’s the Caymanian way. Complain about it but make sure no furriner is there to compete.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ll bet they will blame this one on the Medics also!

  5. Anonymous says:

    One must question the article’s accuracy – a helicopter from Cayman to Weston, Florida is highly unlikely.

    Before bashing the hospital it would be reasonable to allow them to comment and put the matter in its correct perspective

  6. noname says:

    You mean to tell me that even Fidel Castro, the neighboring dictator has his act together re. Tourism and  Medical care than most countries? At least he requires that anyone traveling to Cuba must have medical Insurance. It is also available at an affordable price only $3.50 per day? quite good. Mr. Bush, look into this for us please.

  7. Anonymous says:

    health service in Cayman is a disgrace. The motto seems to be "awful treatment at a premium cost".

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t limit this motto to health services. Rather it has become the Cayman business model.

    • Foreign Press says:

      How did McKeeva allow this to reach the foreign press!!!!!!

      He can intimidate the local media but I know he cant bully the foreign press.

      I have to laugh as bullys know who to frighten!

    • Waiting says:

      I am waiting to hear what Mr. Ezzard Miller will say about this.

      I know he was with Cabinettoday so I hope he did not allow them to intimidate him into being quiet like what happened on Rooster this morning when McKeeva called in.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great this is just the kind of news we need to have spreading about us!

    I am appaled at the cost of having to air ambulance this lady of the island and it enforces my belief that which should have a locally based air ambulance service here to reduce costs not only to the government who has to pay for those who can’t  but to make it less hurtful  and less expensive to folks in this type of situation. The common mis-belief that these air ambulance come out of Miami and are cheap. The fact of the matter is some of them come from as far away as point in the the North Eastern United States and the patient has to pay for those empty legs of the flights.

    I am aware of one businessman who presented a business plan to both the last government and to this one to operate an air ambulance service with air planes based at our airport. He has shared with me his many attempts to show both government ministers how he could save the country money as well as to introduce a new business to employ Caymanians in a down economy.   He was given lip service and finally gave up after he realised that they were either not interested and would rather stick with the costly status quo.

    All that being said, I wish this lady and her family well and on behalf of all Caymanians and residents here, our sincerest apologies for the treatment you received at our hospital. I ask God’s blessing on you for a speedy recovery.


    • Anonymous says:

      I my heart goes out to this family as well and I wish for this lady a speedy recovery.

      XXXXXX I will bet you no local Caymanian will be doing that. I will also assume that since the hospital is where the air ambulances are dispatched from that this is the hold up with getting this business off the ground. Wouldn’t it be wonderful though to have this service at our airport at a moments notice (as this is often the case) and have it a reasonable price.

      As a person who has gone through this situation, I can tell you it is very real. I can tell you that my family paid a lot more than $22,000 for the air ambulance service. Not only do you have to pay a fortune but you have to wait forever for them to come from somewhere else and in the meantime your love ones suffer tremendously. Our hospital is not equipped to handle these situations and an air ambulance service based here is very much needed.

      Again to this family and particularly to the lady, I wish you well. I am hoping that the Cayman Islands Government will apologize for this incident and send you a free vacation package to come back and visit us once you have fully recovered..Please don’t let this one incident stop you from getting to know us or allowing you to have the vacation you dreamed of having..


  9. Barely Legal says:

    Since this country probably has the highest proportion of litigators to population in the world, why are they not suing?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I suppose it’s Cayman’s fault the family travelled without health insurance coverage? 

    • My2cents says:

      Agreed. If you travel, get the best health insurance you can afford, so you can get the best treatment possible in events such as this.

      Having said that, I hope any incompetatence in the services given in Grand Cayman will be investigated.

      And my heart goes out to them. I hope she is better.


    • Anonymous says:

      13:59 You completely missed the point of the story here.

      But thanks for posting

    • Anonymous says:

      The issue is not about health insurance or travel insurance. The issue is the quality of the professional medial service she has received. Wake up!

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Medical insurance should automatically be included in the cost of all cruise fares. Perhaps our government should require it as a condition for visiting Cayman. If the next person in critical condition can’t pay what do we do? Let them die?

      That said; US hospitals have a huge history of medical mistakes that cost thousands of lives every year. Having lost my daughter Stephanie to one of them I can tell you that I would gladly have paid $200K to have her alive today. Fortunately this lady survived. I wonder what would have happened if she had ended up it some other less developed Caribbean Island.


  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad someone is taking this to the international press.  Not everyone does a bad job, but there are some that I’ve wanted to question before.  Do doctors have to take refresher courses each year or so? 

    I’ve been to both hospitals many times and have had good and bad experiences from both.  The good doctors and nurses deserve credit but I think something needs to be done about the ones who make continuous mistakes.