Shetty to star at health forum

| 22/10/2010

(CNS): The renowned Indian doctor who has proposed building a $2 billion healthcare city in the Cayman Islands will be appearing at a special health conference here next month. According to the agenda posted on the website, Dr Devi Shetty will deliver the opening address at the islands’ first ever national health care conference being organised by the health ministry. The famous surgeon will present an assessment of the global healthcare industry and the challenges and opportunities it presents for the Cayman Islands. The doctor signed an agreement with the Cayman government in April of this year but there have been no further developments on the project since then.

Dr Shetty’s proposal is to build a 2,000-bed speciality tertiary hospital in the Cayman Islands. The Naryana Cayman University Medical Centre will include a medical school and assisted living to attract patients who are either uninsured or under-insured. The doctor has said such a facility would price procedures at least 50 percent lower than in the US. Government in turn has said the facility would also offer low cost tertiary healthcare to Caymanians as well as boost the local economy.

The project has been broadly, if cautiously, welcomed in the community as providing a real possibility of the elusive third pillar for the local economy of medical tourism. However, six months after signing the agreement with government no location has yet been publicly identified for the potential health city and there has been growing speculation recently that the hospital project is being stalled as a result of administrative hurdles that it may not be able to overcome. Dr Shetty’s appearance at the government sponsored conference will give a boost to those supporting the project that it could still be on track.

The Healthcare 20/20 conference at the Ritz-Carlton is scheduled for the 11 to 13 November and is expected to bring together leading local and international experts in the healthcare field, the health minister has said. He added that it marks the start of the ministry’s efforts to create a comprehensive healthcare policy in the Cayman Islands for the next five years.

“I hope that this open forum will facilitate knowledge-sharing and productive discussions that will lead us to sustainable healthcare solutions. The future of health is everyone’s business, simply because good health matters! I therefore extend an invitation to all residents, healthcare and insurance providers and business owners to join us for this landmark event,” Scotland said.

So far speakers include Dr Christine Goeschel, an international expert in patient safety and quality who is a clinical instructor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and associate faculty in the School of Public Health. She is also senior adviser to the World Health Organisation‘s Patient Safety Program, contributing to the development, implementation and evaluation of efforts to improve healthcare quality on a global scale.

“We are fortunate to have Dr Goeschel as one of our presenters,” the minister said. “The level of international representation with our local presenters will provide varied perspective on various aspects of healthcare as we seek to create an effective national healthcare policy which takes into account international trends, viewpoints, evidence and research whilst balancing that with the unique issues of the Cayman Islands.”

Subtitled “Envisioning the future … creating a national vision for innovation, transformation and delivery of sustainable quality healthcare in the Cayman Islands”, the gathering will include insurance companies, healthcare professionals, patients, regulators, not-for-profit organisations and the private sector.

More than a dozen local and international organizations — including Tenet Healthcare Corporation, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, Tower Marketing, Baptist Health, Deloitte, the Naryana Cayman University Hospital, The Pan American Health Organisation and the Medical Protection Society — have already agreed to sponsor the event, anticipated to attract more than 200 participants.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I find it consistently unbelievable that a few vocal opponents to the Shetty Hospital do not seem to realize that Cayman is in competition with so many other jurisdictions for first class projects such as the Shetty Hospital. Shetty could have chosen any number of other jurisdictions for his hospital. He chose Cayman … and Cayman is very lucky that he did … Cayman will greatly benefit from such a project on many levels. The opportunities (jobs) that it will most definitely provide to Caymanians (and yes … others as well) are a valuable addition to Cayman’s economy. Besides the obvious opportunities for qualified Caymanians (and others) in the medical related fields, there will be so many other jobs created; initially in construction and later in all the services needed for any big project and a potentially new "city" in East End. The constant gripe from those few vocal individuals’ smacks of prejudice against anyone who is not "native Caymanian". Prejudice in any form, from any people indicates ignorance … Cayman has affirmative action firmly entrenched, so there is no doubt that Caymanians will be provided many opportunities. Enforcing a race based favoritism in the long run is not healthy for any nation, regardless of size. The answer to the long term problem of any jurisdiction is a first class educational system , so that the competitive market for jobs can be filled by truly qualified individuals, regardless of their race/ethnicity.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This slaps the face of the many physicians who have ALREADY given years of dedicated service to the people of the Cayman Islands, and who are more than capable of giving the opening speech at the health forum.  Shun, shun, shun.  Shame, shame, shame.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think this is good news for Cayman.

    Jobs to build and maintain the facility for starters.

    Even if Cayman does not have medical staff available today, they can easily train locals to start taking up administrative, pharmacy, and nursing jobs while the facility is being built. Cayman doctors can fill the expat roles over time when enough locals are trained.

    A hospital of that size will need food caterers and other specialized services outside of the medical field.

    Not sure why people are resisting or against this.


  4. The Original Anon says:

    Scotland and Co have pulling off this Bandaid in slow motion.  Shetty will be facing an angry mob just because he did his due diligence. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Like anyone here,  I want to believe. There is no logical reason not to welcome this project with open arms. It would the mother of all boons to these islands and a great infrastructural shift to take Cayman into a new and positive direction.

    But the question is really "will it happen".  the announcement a year or more ago was very sudden and the project is moving so painfully slowly as to look like other pie-in-the-sky escapades proposed by the, front runners and promoters on these island in the past.

    Lots of grand ideas get proposed..  then government soft-dollars get wasted chasing dreams which will never materialize.  Fees get paid to consultants and the whole thing is a giant drain on the public purse (and ego), only to get revealed later as a pipe-dream which cost the country’s treasury..  or worse a sham specifically designed to bleed it.

    So my words to Dr. Shetty are:  Show us the Money.  Ken Dart lives here and has proven what he can do.  We don’t have the time or space in these economic times for people who take too great an economic advantage to make a project viable or their local backers who have more in personal skills and less in substantial track-record..  While I greatly understand and appreciate Dr. Shetty’s track record, patience and history,  we are a long way from India and don’t have room in our Country’s psyche for the let-down of another failed Mandarin Oriental or other Grand project to fail.  Give Dr.  Shetty the time to act, and if he doesn’t offer it to Johns Hopkins or the mayo Clinic with similar breaks.

    Government would be well served to stick it’s neckout and get the right people here.Stop relying so much on locals who are all-hat, no-cattle to guide them. Resist being led astray by the children of the great ones, rather ..  find the new great ones locally to lead.

  6. Already invested in Cayman says:

    I pray that the government and the local big-mouths don’t screw up what is probably Cayman’s last chance for an economic recovery.

    Of course, the local big-mouths would rather have an opportunity to shoot off their mouths than to avoid seeing the rest of the island end up destitute.  It’s their way.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So in effect this is a local promotional event for Dr. Shetty’s health center which is being paid for by the people of the Cayman Islands via Mark Scotland’s Ministry.

    This is robbery of our people. Shame on you Mark Scotland. Let Shetty pick up his own promotional costs…….was this in the MOU too ? You can’t pull the wool over our eyes Mark.

    Your term in office is very limited trust me !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Relax.. this isn’t about Dr. Shetty and "the people" are not paying for anything. Rather corporate sponsors are handling financing in return for the great advertising and promotion they will be getting from this major event.

      So no my friend, you are not a victim. Now stop posting rubbish and get your facts straight. Tired of seeing ignorant people "potty" on CNS wall.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an Idiot, try and be constructive please.

  8. Ex-pat Eric says:

    I think the US is making healthcare available for free to its citizens. Does that represent one of the hurdles mentioned in this article?

    As for a teaching hospital — how would it compete attracting students when there are already facilities established: Johns Hopkins, UPenn, Mayo Clinic, and Duke.

    Take a look at this article and ask yourself: at which facility would I like to be treated?

    I believe Dr. Tomlinson said it best, "this facility will be suited for dental or cosmetic surgery".

    You have to realize – the people that who have to travel for treatment are doing so because they cannot afford it at home! Cayman ain’t cheap, so what’s the reason to travel there for a life saving operation!

    • Anonymous says:

      Obamacare is not going to be free. I don’t know where you people get these ideas.

      For the elderly Medicare reimbursement to doctors is going to drop drastically so a lot more doctors will refuse Medicare.There will be plenty of people to attract to a specialized facility such as this.

      Shetty’s proposal can only benefit Cayman. It is impossible for Cayman to create something like this on its own. Yes, there are great hospitals in the US but give the guy some credit for knowing what he is doing.

      • Ex-pat Eric says:

        Medicare recipients will not be able to afford to travel to Cayman for a procedure! 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is the Swiss medical center in the running?

  10. ANONYMOUS says:

    And here was me thinking this was mcKeevas imaginary friend..

  11. Anonymous says:

    "… to attract patients who are either uninsured or under-insured."

    Just when will people get it through their thick heads that there is going to be no benefit to Cayman in this scheme. All the jobs will go to staff imported from India and the patients will have no money to spend outside their medical fees.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah rocketman all these people are going to live in tents and feed on air and walk to their jobs so they will contribute nothing to the ecconomy. Ok then, you know sometimes it is better to be silent and be thought to be an idiot than to speak up and remove all doubt.

  12. Anonymous says:

    how about offering Dr Tomlinson some of the perks shetty is getting? would kill to help a Caymanian out? that way maybe he can provide lower costs

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious to know what the administrative hurdles are for this project.

    • Anonymous says:

      The answer might lie in Dr Shetty’s Wikipedia entry – the word "Cayman" is wholly absent from the entry which was modified as recently as today. 

      • Anonymous says:

        What, you mean he is not acting like a Cayman land promoter and acting like the thing is already built?

        He has plenty of actual accomplishment to talk about, but apparently you didn’t notice that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Watch the govt. screw this one up!! 

      • Pending says:

        I wonder if the pace at which  project is moving has had anything to do with the loan which government have been seeking for "capital projects"…..

        Funny how we have heard nothiing about either for sometime and then both stories pop up on the same day……

    • Don't worry I wont stay says:

      Getting a phone call returned might be one.