Shetty deal to be extended

| 25/03/2011

(CNS): The agreement between the Cayman government and the Indian heart surgeon, Dr Devi Shetty, for a proposed health city expires in two weeks time but the Shetty team says both sides want it to be extended. The deal signed 12 months ago outlined the concessions and legislative changes government would make to facilitate the medical development. However, because those changes have taken longer than expected the agreement is about to end before all the requirements are met. But with changes now made to the health practitioner’s law and a cap placed on medical damages, a spokesperson said this paves the way for the deal to be extended and the first phase of the project could break ground before the end of this year.

Shetty will be going ahead with the medical tourism project, which is aimed atthe North American health market and will shortly reveal more detailed plans of the proposed hospital, Gene Thompson told CNS on Thursday.

Thompson, who has been working with Shetty since the renowned heart surgeon began looking at the Cayman Islands as a possible location for his health city, said the legal changes turned out to be a complex process and took longer than anyone originally anticipated.

He explained that with two of the laws that Dr Shetty needed to go ahead with the project already on the statute books and the third, dealing with organ donation and transplantation, in the works, the doctor was satisfied that the spirit of the original agreement was being met. Thompson said the relationship between the team and government was going very well and the health ministry was fully engaged with the project.

Both the Shetty team and government had learned a lot over the last twelve months, Thompson explained, and through no fault any government department or anyone the whole process did not go as quickly as people had hoped.

“Dr Shetty is very committed to this project and we are confident that both sides are now comfortable about extending the agreement,” Thompson said. “The next step will be to present more specific plans to the community about the first phase, which will be a 140-150 bed facility.”

The local representative revealed that there will be another round of public presentations shortly that will go into much more details of the project itself. With Dr Shetty’s first presentations focusing mostly on the philosophy and intent behind the medical complex, the next step is to be more specific about the actual plans for the first phase of the hospital.

“We are now putting together a project team that will begin working on this first phase of the actual development,” Thompson said, adding that there was lots of work to be done. Thompson did not reveal the location of the development as he said it was still an open question with no final decision yet made, and because of the commercial realities of that he would not be drawn on the most likely location.

However, Thompson was emphatic that the project was going ahead, despite the delays, and that Dr Shetty was totally committed to beginning the development. “No one is walking away from this,” Thompson added.

The original agreement signed last April outlined the duty concessions on medical equipment that government was prepared to give, the discounted immigration fees and the necessary legislative changes. In return Dr Shetty has committed to building a large scale medical tourism facility, medical school, and assisted-living senior’s residence on 500 acres over a ten year period which will represent an investment of some $2 billion if the entire project goes ahead.

Dr Shetty has said that he believes the Cayman Islands is the ideal location to tap into the huge and growing medical tourism potential in the United States, where health care is increasingly expensive and inaccessible. The doctor says he can offer top quality medical care at a fraction of the cost, modelled on his Narayana medical facility in his native India.

See original Shetty-CIG agreement

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  1. Loren says:

    What is the big secret about the loction of this hospital? If this announcement does not happen before 16 May 2011 believe me it will never happen. This is just another pie in the sky bird brain project to fool the Caymanian public, but we should be used to this tom fool trickery by now.

    • AMC says:

      A suggestion that would serve to "kill two birds with one stone" – how about Mr. Joe Imparato and Dr. Devi Shetty and Mr. Gene Thompson et al working out a deal as follows:-

      1.   Mr. Imparato could agree to undertake only surface quarrying on the  section(s) of the least environmentally sensitive acres of his high land – in other words,he would agree to end all and any quarrying, cutting of trenches and digging of holes into his land well before he would reach that (much sought after and most lucratve) moist, top quality marl – since moisture would unfortunately mean that he would have mistakenly tapped into the vital water lens/table.

      2.   Mr. Imparato would be able to sell this quarried fill/marl for a handsome price – while simultaneously feeling justifiably proud of not only having taken good care of Grand Cayman’s fragile environment but also allowing those who are dependent on the natural supply of water (including the eastern district farmers) to continue their way of life without threat to their long term existence.

      3.   Of course, prior to  proceeding with points 1. and 2. above, Mr. Imparato would have invited and allowed time and opportunity for those individuals and organizations interested in, charged with and responsible for the conservation and protection of Cayman’s flora and fauna, to traverse his property in order to identify, secure, and relocate (where necessary and possible) those specimens which would be endangered by his controlled surface quarrying.

      4.   As Dr. Shetty’s proposed medical tourism development will require many, many acres of land (and the highest dry land in Grand Cayman should certainly be Dr. Shetty’s goal as it would be the safest and best location for such an undertaking), Mr. Imparato would then be able to sell his land to Dr. Shetty at  the market rate for high and dry land virtually ready for development of his medical facilities.

      5.   Mr. Thompson  would still be the realtor and/or partner of Dr. Shetty’s medical tourism development and would therefore also still be entitled to participate and benefit from this development in the same way and to the same extent as has been envisaged from the  beginning of this proposed project.and the entering into of the 7th April 2010 MOU between Dr. Shetty and the Hon. Premier Mr. McKeeva Bush and Hon. Minister of Health Mr. Mark Scotland on behalf of the Cayman government.

      6.   And to crown it all this could be achieved without the Cayman government taking on the unwarranted responsibility, expense and environmental destruction of turning the original idea of Mr. Imparato into a  – (totally not needed as we will have the redeveloped George Town dock/berthing facilities) – East End Seaport!

      This would be a win-win situation for all, especially Mr. Imparato, Dr. Shetty and Mr. Thompson although not sure how much economic or other benefits or opportunities there would be for the Caymanian people from the Dr.Shetty project because of the many one-sided concessions and tailor-made laws agreed to by the Hon. Premier and Hon. Minister in the above MOU .

      Speaking of opportunities for Caymanians, a sincere request, as opposed to a suggestion but this time direced to the Hon. Deputy Premier Mrs. Julianna O’Connor-Connolly and the Hon. Minister of Education Mr. Rolston Anglin – please, please put the $9 million Brac hurricane shelter on hold  for the time being and use those funds to urgently complete the two high schools in Grand Cayman up to the 21st century standards previously envisaged so that Cayman students may have a better chance of achieving the high academic standards essential to enable them to take advantage of the opportunity to get into and study at Dr. Shetty’s proposed hospital training facility.  

      However, if the above potential for medical training for Caymanians some time in the future is not enough incentive for you Hon. Deputy Premier and Hon. Minister of Education to cause you to rethink and reorder your priorities, please do not brush aside the very urgent need for completing those schools and improving academic standards up to the high level that will be required if Caymanian students are to become qualified and equipped to participate in the many employment and other opportunities which are supposed to become available to them through the imminent development of Mr. Barry Hon’s proposed Special Economic Zone.   Everybody knows that the Chinese have always taken their chldren’s education very seriously and even more so in this ever increasingly more competitive world, so if Caymanians are to have a chance to get a significant number of those 10,000 jobs which we understand the SEZ will provide, then it is incumbent on our elected government to put aside politics and egos and do what is right, otherwise the vast majority of Cayman’s children will not have a snowball’s hope in hell of achieving the heights of education that are essential to participate in the SEZ, which project actually appears to be a do-able one with less  negatives attached to it than a few others that are currently topical such as North Sound channel dredging and an oil refinery! . 




  2. Anonymous says:

    dr. shetty…welcome to the land of ‘soon come’…..

  3. FED UP says:

    If this is a real estate deal like Mr. MacTavis says transparency will clear this up. The Premier has been very slow in giving full details of what’s going down on the property end. It would be a conflict of interest if any UDP members feather their nests from this deal under the pretence of economic development. The Premier should not allow this to happen. The PPM should be on top of this issue 24/7.

  4. Rob says:

    I just want to know where it’s being built. The hush hush has been going on long enough now.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       It is being kept quiet because it is a real estate deal.

  5. Marek says:

    For the nay sayers, I would to remind them that Dr. Shetty already operates a 3,000 bed hospital in India … that he is in the medical tourism business and has already overcome all the roadblocks being suggested here.

    Now where do you think an American medical tourist would rather go.

    A) India or

    B) The Cayman Islands… an English speaking, British Colony … one hour away.

    The answer is so obvious the question answers itself.

    My final comment would be and its something many who are posting on this topic fail to understand.

    The decision to use offshore medical tourism is more often than not made by the medical insurer NOT the patient.

    Mr. Smith needs an operation that costs $200,000 and has a 20% deductible meaning he has to go out of pocket $40,000 and the insurer has to pay the remaining $160,000.

    If the insurer can talk Mr. Smith into having the operation in Grand Cayman where it can be done for $100,000… they offer to pick up the entire cost waiving the deductible.

    Mr. Smith saves the $40,000 deductible (which he most likelydoesn’t have) the insurer saves $60,000.

    So the insurance companies will be the primary driving force behind sending clients to Grand Cayman.

    Oh… and South Florida alone has 60,000 hospital beds which are at 100% occupancy… if 95% of those patients were terrified to come to Cayman, the other 5% would fill out 3,000 bed facility to capacity…

    and that’s just South Florida.

    Glass half full.



    • Anonymous says:

      You are so wrong in so many ways. Very few Americans will come here. It is too expensive to fly and stay here and with so many medical options in the U.S. no insurer is going to pick up a tab for an island vacation so someone can have surgery. All in all it will be too expensive for 98% of Americans and their insurers. Oh! And now add the caps on liability and they will definitely not come – why? Because if you maim or kill my family member or me I am supposed to say that is okay and I should not pursue it further and just take what the max is and go away? Call me a naysayer if you will – I call it realism. If think Shetty is going to bring the best and brightest here you are dreaming. Caps gives him the perfect opportunity to bring the worst of the worst. He probably will never build anything anyway. XXXX People need to open their eyes and quit being so naive.

  6. Anony-nony says:

    Hopefully this new agreement will include at least some recognition of the large (huge?) ‘associated costs’ for the health city to be born by the people of the Cayman Islands, not the developers directly: waste disposal, roads, other infrastructure (new airport wing, anyone?), etc. Sewage & Water are wild cards given that Government will front the money for the expansion of these services but expect to make it back in fees in the long term; unless they sell the Water Authority first. A proper impact study (environmental, social, economic) would help the government/developers convince the people that the costs are worth it; like has been proposed for the EE Port. Or not convince us.

  7. Real World says:

    Changing the laws of the land (with all that entails, and without a full examination and debate on the possible and probable effects on the overall quality of healthcare in Cayman) on the strength and value of just an MOU is a very dangerous policy. There’s a distinctchance that all the eggs in this one basket could end up smeared all over the Premier’s face.

  8. UDP Supporter says:

    Another triumph by our Premier! Way to go McKeeva!

    • Anonymous says:

      Apart from some paperwork and publicity pictures, what has been done?  How can "no real accomplishment" be a triumph, except in the UDP dictionary?


  9. Anonymous says:

    Mark my words, nothing will come of this. Absolutely nothing. Our Premier appears to have a handle on smoke and mirrors, but very little substance.

    If these wasteful maniacs would stop going around bingeing on our money, we would not have to sell our souls.

    Mr Bush, Mr. Tibbetts, the blame lies squarely at your feet. Please never stand again. Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

       How do you mark the words of someone who is anonymous?  That’s kind of like asking people to write in the wind with their fingers.  Do you expect people to say, six months from now, remember back in March when Anonymous said we should mark his (or maybe her) words that nothing would come of this Shetty deal? And conversely, if the Shetty hospital does get built,  will you anonymously post here, "Boy was I wrong about that."  But then, how will we even know it’s really you posting that, since you’re anonymous.  You might say, "Hey, you’re posting anonymously", but I’d respond, "True, but I’m not asking people to mark my words."  Let’s see if I have this straight: You offer absolutely no backing argument as to why the Shetty deal won’t fly, but you want us to mark your words, as if we should just accept your non-argued supposition because… you’re someone nobody knows?  Just asking…

      • you mus be smoking cow itch says:

        anonymous @23:47 you are so correct,thanks alot!!!!

      • Peter, Paul, or Mary says:

        Don’t bother asking.  Even if he/she had signed his/her name as Peter, Paul or Mary, who is to say that 3 months from now someone else may not "borrow" that same handle and pretend to be him or her.  Are handles protected – no they are not.  He/She offers no backing as to why the Shetty deal won’t fly because he/she has probably lived in the Cayman Islands long enough to understand that they may just be empty promises – he/she has a right to be skeptical, and until something is built and working, he/she is correct. How long was there talk that Dart would build the piers?  Is Dart still building the piers?  What, didn’t hear you there…  Oil refinery – say what, I still don’t see one?  And that’s a good thing by the way.  So stop asking foolish questions and making a general pain of yourself…  Just saying…

        • Peter, Paul or Mary says:

          If you’re comparing Shetty with Dart, then I’d say the Shetty hospital will definately get done. Dart might have ended talks with the government about the cruise piers last year, but in case you haven’t noticed, Dart has built Camana Bay and five beautiful parks, plus renovated two of the ugliest old buldings in Central George Town and created two of the nicest buildings on the waterfront, plus have they have redone the Safehaven offices into something very nice. They just bought the Courtyard Marriott and Yacht Club, and I’m sure both of those projects will be lovely when they’re done with them. Do you still want to suggest Dart is all talk and no action?
          The Shetty hospital is not just some pie-in-the-sky idea like an oil refinery. People can be skeptical all they want, but it doesn’t mean they should be parrotting naysayers, especially without giving an argument as to why they think that way.

          • Peter, Paul, or Mary says:

            You missed the point entirely.  It’s not Dart who is all talk.  Try again and see if you can figure it out.  In as far as the Shetty deal is concerned, I’ll stick to my original point – until it is completed, I’ll put the pom poms away.  Lastly, stop being a little pretentious twerp – twerp!  The other commentator does not owe you an explanation for why he/she may think.  End of story, twerp.

            • Mary, Paul and Peter says:

               Nice one.  Where’d you learn to call names like that, grade six? Are you the other poster’s big brother or something?  Maybe people wouldn’t miss your point entirely if you knew how to make one. If you’re not questioning Dart, why raise the name twice?  Or is your point that no one in the private sector can be trusted to do what they say they will do until they have done it?  Hey, as I said, you can be skeptical all you want, no one’s asking you to bring out the pom poms.  But unless you (or the original poster) can offer some kind of argument as to why the Shetty deal will fail (other than ‘mark my anonymous words, this will fail) then you both are open to criticism in an open forum such as this. Your little brother actually does own an explanation of you postings to the readers of this forum, or else he should stick to the playground and let the adults talk.

              • Paul, Peter, and Mary says:

                Both parties in this forum post are exercising their freedom of speech. Peter, Paul, and Mary are not required to defend their statements in their posting- they are welcome to withhold their thoughts. Likewise other readers can dismiss the poster if they choose.

                It is tough not to be a little cynical about Big Mac and his pie in the sky ideas. Let’s looks at some of his classics that have been incomplete or completed as failures

                1) Boatswains Beach- a flawed business plan from day one. Has never turned a profit and never will. And the family land deal that occurred to facilitate the West Bay dock, which never happened either.  

                2) Ritz Carlton- still has not settled it’s debts with the government (has mac’s fingerprints on it)

                3) Hyatt Hotel- Mac made a pompous statement after being re elected that he would resolve the situation immediately- yawn- again hollow words 

                4) Cruise port to be built by Dart- Baraud and Mac were boasting in the media the deal was done- then suddenly it wasn’t? cart before the horse as always with Mac.

                5) announcement of dredging the North Sound- before any studies have been completed- more pie in the sky promises

                6) how about signing and boasting about the new financial arrangements with Cohen and Co. in New York, only to be retracted a few weeks later- seeing a pattern yet?

                7) the new cruise port contractor- still nothing started despite dates given of first quarter 2011. waiting and waiting and we’re still waiting.

                this is fun. anyone else want to add the list of Mac’s false starts and empty promises?

      • Sue Stevens says:

        And your name is…?

  10. Shock and Awe says:

    Proximity to the U.S., and the extortion it’s citizens have to go through for medical care will make this a viable project. For Cayman’s sake, I hope it succeeds.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      "The extortion that U.S. citizens have to go through for medical care "? You think that we in these islands are any better off then they?

      At one time our government did the responsible thing: medical care was subsidised by government to a considerable extent. But things changed. The old affordable system was converted into one in which cost of service had to be met by the fees charged for the service. This change was effected by successive wasteful governments needing to offset their mindless lavish spending. The cost of medical care (and medical insurance) eventually became exorbitant here, too. It is abhorrent that a vital service like health care (which underpins a fundamental and well-recognised human right – the right to health) was made so unaffordable for the working person due to austerity policies of these poor governments. More abhorrent yet is that our money-whore politicians voted themselves raises on a recurrent basis.

      Have you ever checked the cost of health care insurance in this territory? Talk about extortion! Responsible countries moved long ago to assure access to health care to all its citizens at low or no cost to the person needing care. Here, our government mandated that everyone must acquire health insurance, but our government allows insurance companies to charge free market premiums; in other words the insurers make a tidy profit on the exorbitant premiums they charge, with virtually no governmental controls over those premiums. Responsible and progressive countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland operate via privately owned but strictly regulated private insurers that are prohibited by law from making a profit from the mandatory element of health care insurance. The insurance companies in those countries can make a profit by selling supplemental insurance. Here we pay through the nose for health coverage due to the irresponsible attitude of an uncaring impotent government.

      The lack of any real diligence in this territory’s apathetic and lazy electorate allows politicians to pretty much ride out their tenure on a raft of B.S. rather than governing responsibly; it is little wonder that this attitude is reflected in the cost of health care in this territory.

      How we remunerate our politicians should be made to conform to the concept of matching payments to the value of the services rendered. Think of the savings if you matched politicians’ salaries to what they are worth: they could be paid in cow chips rather than dollars!

  11. Bobo says:

    Mac promise much.  Shetty deliver little.


    • Dred says:

      Ask the little girl who’s life he probably saved already in Cayman how little he delivers.

  12. jenny vanbergen says:

    “It is naive in the extreme to expect North Americans to submit to medical procedures knowing that there is a cap in the event of any negligence. American society still – thank god – believes in responsibility and answerability for one’s actions/omissions”.

    I profoundly disagree. The cap of $500,000 relates to pain and suffering; loss of earnings and lifetime care may be an additional claim. American society has been greedy with its exorbitant litigious appetite and the resulting high cost of insurance and medical procedures. Further resulting in the fact that millions of people, in America and beyond, are denied access to reasonably priced medical procedures. The current system is shameful and I applaud the CI government and Dr Shetty on this initiative. I wish them the very best of luck.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is a great project for the islands and I hope this goes ahead. Clearly even the Cayman Islands, renowned for being overly expensive, CAN do some things better and cheaper than the United States. Dr. Shetty thinks so, and he is more of an expert than any of us. Plus he is putting his money where his mouth is, so clearly he has done his research.

  14. M Williams says:

    Shame on you Gene.

    The concessions being granted are OBSCENE!!

    Guaranteed unlimited permits for Indian personnel and families: we will end up with a colony

    I thought we were imposing restrictions on the number of persons from one area??

    • Are you a professional>>....NOT WHERE do you come from says:

      Take every Indian medical personnel, and while you are at it other foreigners, out of just the GT and Faith hospital …..and we will have to operate on ourselves and bring somebody along who cares for us afterwards….since in the medical profession we have too few Cayman personnel, they would not be able to take care of the needs of the population on hand.
      P.S. my husband had an operation from an Indian Surgeon at GT hospital, if you like me to introduce you to this first class surgeon and caring professional please let me know….we should be happy that we have and shall have more permanent medical Professionals on Grand Cayman who will take care of us and our families…..I always thought it was Knowledge that counted…..and NOT >>How many of X nationality we will allow to come in; –
      rather it should be on every persons mind asking: which medical doctor with the highest degree of knowledge will we “invite” to come here and make Cayman his home.
      But this is JUST my opinion ( and wish )

      • Anonymous says:

        No, the poster is correct atleast in part regarding the quotas on immigrants from one area: remember they were trying to limit the number of Jamaicans –


  15. Anonymous says:

     It is naive in the extreme to expect North Americans to submit to medical procedures knowing that there is a cap in the event of any negligence.  American society still – thank god – believes in responsibility and answerability for one’s actions/omissions.  Cayman medicine will have the same acceptance as Chinese goods – cheap/poor quality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Americans will sign anything if they consider they will get to jump the queue for an organ transplant or get a bargain. The problem is that if it all goes wrong they will want to sue in US courts which may assume extraterritorial jurisdiction simply because Americans are involved.

      It is not a question of American society (as opposed to anyone else) believing in “responsibility and answerability”. There is no virtue in this. America’s litigious society is driven by greed inspired by outrageous jury awards and this in turn has driven the cost of healthcare through the roof. American juries award milions of dollars for comparatively minor injuries. Getting injured is seen as an opportunity to get really rich.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to be unaware that non-economic damages are capped in many states in the US. It is hardly a new idea. In all cases it was done in response to skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums, particularly for surgeons and obstetricians. There is nothing in the Shetty proposal to indicate that the care will be substandard or comparable to China. You are badmouthing the venture for no reason.

  16. Anonymous says:

    more delays and incompetence on behalf of cig highlighted everyday…..
    doesn’t matter, this won’t happen…the economic don’t work….cayman cannot do low cost anything….