Health city to open February

| 24/09/2013

(CNS): The much anticipated first phase of Dr Devi Shetty’s hospital in East End will open on 24 February, officials have announced. With the construction of the project on schedule, local partner Gene Thompson was confident when he announced the opening date at a special lunch on Tuesday, where Shetty was present to give a presentation about the vision. Prior to introducing Shetty, Thompson told the audience that the construction had gone very well. Having waived the requirement for clean police records, previous references and avoided implementing random drug testing, the site maintained a rate of 70% local workers and moved ahead of schedule without a single on-site incident.

Once the hospital opens, however, a significant number of the workers will at first come from India, it was revealed during Tuesday’s presentation, but there will still be lots of vacancies for local workers. Thompson also said that the staff coming from India are currently undergoing cultural sensitivity training about Cayman before they arrive to facilitate their integration into the local community.

Several hundred people were present for the lunch presentation at the Marriott, which reflects the serious interest the community has in this unique development. Dr Shetty told them that two of the Narayana Hrudayalaya Group’s Indian star doctors will be coming to the Cayman Islands to head up the 150-bed tertiary care facility when it opens next year but at least two local doctors are expected to be joining the Health City Cayman team.

In his presentation Shetty spoke about the vision and how the hospital is expected to become a centre of medical excellence for providing surgery, highly specialised affordable care and medical training. He spoke of brave new medical technologies and techniques that will be available at the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital that are not yet approved or available even in the US but that his staff is already expert in providing.

Shetty has been called the Henry Ford of medicine because his group takes an almost production line approach to surgery and uses a unique model to cut health care costs, training medical doctors and technicians to be specialists in a narrow field with the assistance of modern technology.

The model has had incredible success in his native India, where the economic realities are very different. But there are still those who doubt that in a jurisdiction as expensive as Cayman he will be able to deliver the same kind of efficiencies to facilitate his now world famous model for delivering top quality health care at drastically reduced rates.

Cayman has embraced Shetty’s vision and adapted legislation to facilitate his hospital and is hoping it will trigger a new area of economic development for Cayman with medical tourism.

Prior to Shetty’s presentation to the wider community, he met with the new government on Monday for the first time and shared information about the success of his medical model with the new ministers.

Acting Premier Moses Kirkconnell and Kurt Tibbetts led the Cabinet team, which pressed for involving as many Caymanians as possible as future employees, landlords housing the hospital’s employees, and as patients seeking the specialities offered at the hospital.

CIG is also seeking preferential rates for treatment for Caymanian patients and, in turn, Dr Shetty sought assurance that the government would refer to his institution its tertiary care patients that require treatment in the specialisations that his hospital will offer. He and his team also showed keen interest in working with the CIG in all possible areas and he sought better airline connectivity in transporting medical tourists to and from the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    One word: NDM-1 (Google it). Be careful Cayman.


  2. Anonymous says:

    why are people bashing gene about his comment? face it or not we have hundreds of caymanians with scratches on their police records , and weed smokers , but these people are willing to work, so isn't  that a whole lot better than sticking a gun in mine or your face and taking what we have , many foreign workers come here and they are not as clean as they appear, we read about them sometime , trust me if every company in cayman implemented drug testing and fired people for positive results cayman work force would shrink fast, as for the hospital give that a chance as well .

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was at the presentation yesterday and was thrilled to finally hear Dr. Shetty speak, and he did not disappoint. I am sad to know so many people are picking at imagined flaws and faults. No great innovator sat still and did what had been done before – that's the defination of insanity. Are we so jaded as a society that we cannot hear and see without sarcasm? Everyone wants the best jobs, the best insurance, the best roads, the best schools, and yet seems to be unwilling to understand that these things come only as a result of taking risks with projects like this. Have some faith…good changes are coming.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a very biased way of insinuating that all the local workers are drug-abusing, convicted criminals. Perhaps some were and are tryign to reform themselves.  Perhaps some still use drug… but surely it's better for them to sweat for their cash, than to break into people's homes or rob.

    On the other hand – NONE of our expat workforce have commmited crimes or used drugs… Right?!

  5. Kato says:

    Question lets say I came down with a heart condition and it is my wishes to travel to USA for treatment. Will the insurance companies now make it a mandate that only Shetty's hospital will be utilized? I would be totally against this and hope that they do make this a patient option.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was at the presentation yesterday and thought – wow this man is either the genius/visionary of our century or a crock. I was/am hoping to see unbiased investigative articles by the press. I mean that reports actually visit his hospital in Bandgore  and get address from the patients he says to have helped – three men who were given heart transplants who wear heart pumps and interview them. Dr. Shetty spoke with grace and passions – he was very compelling. I do hope this works because if this hospital does in fact turn out to be all that he says it will be the very revenue stream that we so desperately need.  What he says made sense in that you can’t reduce cost unless everyone knows what the cost is. I hope everyone was paying attention – Gov and pass this on to its department heads and clue in the rest of the staff. Good luck and I really hope the press does it job because this is one place that its needs to and not ideally sit back and wait for press releases.


    I was also wondering – perhaps i missed it – have some Caymanians been ID to work at Health City – just like the Indian healthcare professional that are currently being trained. Hope at see at least five to ten nurses and a couple of doctors at that hosptial. Even pharmarist etc. If you want to be different Dr. Shetty and Mr. Thompson this is one area where hiring Caymanian with skill will really matter.


    many thanks

    • Anonymous says:


      I would like to see at least 200 to 300 Caymanians work at Shetty's

      So far i have heard there are only 12 nurses signed up at UCCI,( kudos to Roy) My guess we are just sitting on our butts not preparing our selves, waiting untill Shetty brings in staff, then we start the propaganda all over again …"we are unemployed!

      Where are our students that are well versed in science? they should be incouraged to take med classes.


      This hospital will not only need medics, there are probably over 50 different  positions ( different jobs )availible to run the hospital. We have to get prepared.

      We have 600 to 800 school leavers coming out of school each year. lets see how many of these show interest.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a project that we bend over backwards for.

      We give all kind of concessions so that these projects can come about.

      I would have though that this project should have lookedfirst locally for staffing before stating outrights that they would be bringing so many people from India.

      Plus there is the concession with the qualifications of their doctors. 

      It is a good project but I do have the concern that this is another project for people from overseas to come and get rich off Cayman and Caymanians not see a great benifit.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good news. Well done to all.

    Is Cayman Enterrpise City going to start construction (or return it's tax breaks etc.) within the next 3-5 years? What's the latest on this? They "broke ground" 18+ months ago I thought (I recall a press photo) but they don't seem to have really bought any land as yet. Seems about as one sided as the Dart deals.

    • Anonymous says:

      CEC is a real estate scam. They have no intention of building anything, as proved by their recent move to lease space in the Flagship building. All concessions given to them should cease immediately and any duty/fees waived repaid to the Government.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Obligatory discount heart care is not something I would put in the plus column.  If other people want to cut corners with themselves or loved ones, that is their choice.  How a serious medical problem is resolved should always remain a patient's choice.  Caymanians should have the right to be subjected only to certified methods when it comes to health care.  This guy is pushing his luck to collude with government to force us to get treatment there!

    • Anonymous says:

      You have no idea what you are talking about.   Compare the outcomes from the Narayana Hrudayalaya group of hospitals to any of those in the US and then revisit your comment.   This group has brought specialized healthcare to masses of impoverished people in India that would go without.   Dr Shetty is a world respected medical pioneer and former personal physician to Mother Theresa.   As a physician myself from the US visiting Cayman, I can tell you that my biggest cost  is liability insurance, that is out of control by US juries awarding excessive punitive damages in civil cases (for example, one doctor in my hospital group got hit with a $15 million jury verdict).     In the end, you dont have to use this hospital's services (until you perhaps educate yourself on the economic reality of US healthcare being your only option). 

    • Anonymous says:

      If you need urgent Heart Care, Surely you won't have to go to the Shetty Hospital if you don't want to, you can always fly to the US and get treatment there. Or select one of the other many choices Cayman offers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I can hardly wait for the hospital to open. I hope our insurance companies work together with the hospital, I would surly be one of the first patient's.

    • A-nony-mouse says:

      "I would surly be one of the first patient's"

      Two questions;

      1. How surly will you be?  Doctors love surly patients!

      2. First patient's WHAT?? (patient's implies posession or ownership!)




  10. Anonymous says:

    "Having waived the requirement for clean police records, previous references and avoided implementing random drug testing the site maintained a rate of 70% local workers"

    Seriously???  we really want to put this out there……I may be misunderstanding what is intended by this statement but it reads as though the only way to keep the number of local workers up (at 70%) is if the requirement for clean police records, references and drug testing is waived.

    I understand the clean police records requirement being waived and am all for supporting the rehabilitation of those wishing to turn over a new leaf but references (where possible) and drug testing requirements should certainly not be waived – we're enabling the cycle of bad behaviour and entitlement and it really needs to stop.

    Great news on the opening date and great news on the fact that 70% of the workforce is local – now let's make our local work force stronger by setting the bar high rather than lowering it to allow for the weakest link.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sound unfortunate but true, that this is what it take to maintian that level of Caymanian Employees which is an internal problem to Cayman. Hopefully these guys will take this second chance and learn how good it feels to have a job and keep thier noses clean..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Lets wait to hear about the first work permit complaint. The Bush doctor will say that he is caymanian and that he know about medicine so he should be the head doctor over any permit holder. Then we also wait until the single mother with 10 children all different baby fathers, to say thay since they been in the hospital so many times that they can do the nurse work, and that they are "caymanian" so that means they should be trained and  given the job. And cayman lets wait for the workers that help pull the wires during construction to say that they are electricians and should be employed to maintain the place.  Hereis the facts, the hospital has a start date, it is in the media that the employees are being trained and going through the necessary measures to fit into each role that is possible. What we call hit the ground running. Wait for it cayman, (drum roll). Did you hear anything about even 2 persons being trained or even considered to be part of that team? . exactly. Are you telling me that we cant have at least 10 persons get prepared for being considered employment without the entitlement mentality?But caymanians will cry and complain about the jobs that will be given to qualified person on permit. Get off your high horses, get prepared, ask questions, even if it means living in Mr. Shetty home town to make it happen. Or will we just wait and complain that its his responsibility to motivate and train Caymanians. There is not a single reason to deny any of the hospital permits with such advance notice. and I mean even for a janitor, since each position will requiry persons motivated and able to be presentable. I would hate to know that someone around the hospital can be high and thinking they can hang around and help out. And please do not even entertain that Dr. loca guy to be on the premises, I would just go to Cuba if such crazy person are employed as anything to do with medicine.

  12. Anonymous says:

    "Having waived the requirement for clean police records, previous references and avoided implementing random drug testing the site maintained a rate of 70% local workers…"  an interesting comment on Cayman's unemployment problem right there.

    • SSM345 says:

      07:38, I have said it time and again.

      Those that are employable, are employed.

      The vast majority that bitch and moan about not finding work or expats stealing jobs cannot find a job because of drugs, bad references, or dirty police records.

      The law has had to be circumvented once again to get these people jobs on a construction site no less. Do any of these contractors have insurance with a workforce like that?

      And when the project is done, we will be back to square one with this lot. Perhaps they should all start looking from now, at least they will have a current (decent?)reference to submit with their applications.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well Unemployed Caymanians, you know this is happening, so you know what type of staff they will be looking for so go and start equiping yourself now so you are able to compete for the jobs. Don't sit back and do nothing then moan when other people get the jobs.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is total lies as I am a Caymanian who never drank or smoked in my life and my integrity is unquestioned and I have been unemployed for eight months. It seems employers tather have foreign crooks like Michael Levitt working for them.

  13. Entitled-I-iz says:

    Very happy to see Caymanians employed in this type of work.

    However, it is a sad indictment of our society and the homegrown labourer class that that only way to get them employed is to waive all of the immigration law security/police requirements that apply to foreign workers.

    Why are we failing so badly as a people when the decked is so heavily stacked in our favour?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't forget the drug testing too, they are exempt this too.

      Lunch breaks must be interesting for sure.

  14. Anonymous says:

    "Having waived the requirement for clean police records, previous references and avoided implementing random drug testing the site maintained a rate of 70% local workers…"


    Hmmmm, is this what it takes to employ Caymanians?


    This not exactly a good reference.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if specialised treatments will be as affordable and advanced as Cuba? I think not. But then again if your ticker is about to pooch then better an air ambulance to East End than a plane ride and taxi to a hospital in Havana.

    Another plus, we might also might be able to get a better selection of Indian food on the Island. I can hardly wait.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The benefits of this hospital in Cayman will be extraordinary, but I hope the politicians are not expecting Shetty to hire a bunch of Caymanians, just because they are Caymanians. They should be working on expanding the community colleges medical program for nurses, nurses assistants, radiologists, X-Ray technicians, lab technicians, and many other viable medical fields so Caymanians can be QUALIFIED to work there. Many medical fields only require a 2-year degree, and you can have a career in that field making a good living. The opportunity is there, but Caymanians will need to earn it just like anywhere else. Hopefully government can give them the tools. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Any motivated Caymanain that started preparing him or herself for a position here would surely get one. Someone could have started nursing school when this first started and been ready to go when they open. It doesn;t take much time to get training for things like Xray Technicians or Nurses. Why is it that Cayman didn't start a small nursing school for interested people or even a program at the College as soon as the deal was signed. They are probably waiting for Shetty to open a school and give free training to Caymanians believing that they are entitled.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm…Cayman DOES have a small nursing school. Stop the ignorant, anti-Caymanian comments

  17. Anonymous says:

    Seriously! "Having waived the requirement for clean police records, previous references and avoided implementing random drug testing", insane.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, if it was up to you, anyone with police record would never, ever be able to become employed?   There have been few issues with the relaxed policy, and, you know what, a multi-building structure is on schedule, on budget.   So what is your issue?

      • anonymous says:

        Not really MY issue, but I can bet the first time someone gets injured and it can be linked to faulty construction, there will be hell to pay because the contractors will be liable for using persons who could not be said to not be under the influence in the construction of the site…

      • Anonymous says:

        Thompson obviously realized that it's more economical to hire Caymanian then expats, and in this type of work you can get away with waiving some requirement. But the people that got jobs there due to that will still be stuck in a sorry life becuase unless they change they ways they will never really excel any further and it'll still be hard for themtoget jobs after this is done..

      • The Thinker says:

        I don't know about you, but I wouldn't knowingly hire a drug user or thief to work for me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Cannot wait for this hospital to open. Cayman's economic recovery is slowly but surley on the horizon. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is an exciting new economic arena we are entering. With healthcare prices rising to our neighbors to the North this should prove a viable pool of new ventures. Something to investigate or probe is how many Caymanians have worked at the job site vs. How many are really needed. In oyher words while there may have been 70% lo locals working, say you need 200 men but over 490 have worked there as they are not meeting the criteria of showing up, working and not becoming combative when asked to do their job. If in fact this is a true sucess and I am not doubting that they are using 70% local guys, but is it really a viable option to have drunks former criminals and crack heads working. If it is a true or at least somewhat manageable model than the Government needs to clone this and show other construction projects how this is cheaper or cost comparable to importing workers. This gives guys a second chance and some others food on the table and a rock in their pjpe so thay are not stealing. I think though that most will find it hatd to employ criminals with addiction issues. The fact that you had to relax rules of drug abuse and criminality in order to make a quota amount of Caymanians speaks volumes for the naitive man. Intersting to see the results.

    • Anonymous says:

      Being combative is beneficial instead of having people who know how to commnuicate??? This does sound like some managers I know of that cause fights on purpose between thier employees to manipulate the situation to their beneift.

      • Anonymous says:

        I get it. Your boss is upset snd confronts you for showing up late, talking on the phone, and smelling of alcohol and you expected them to allow this to continue. Spare us. Noone

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well we shall see how this goes.  So far as employing Caymanians is concerned, everyone needs to be reminded that the previous admnistration gave the green light for him to bring in some 400 Indians for this venture. In order for us, the Caymanian people, to be able to cope with the influx of that many Indians in our society we too will need similar cultural sensitivity training as what Dr Shetty claims the workers coming here is presently undergoing.

    • SSM345 says:

      20:09, racist are we?

    • Anonymous says:

      What a ridiculous comment.   People should just treat each other with respect.  

    • Solja Crab says:

      This is not a stupid comment, contrary to the replies above me. Proper contingency planning and training would greatly benefit the service, retail and tourism sector in regards to cultural customer service skills. Different countries respond differently and need to be treated differently. Any business-oriented individual should know this. I hope the Dept. of Tourism and Chamber of Commerce are taking note. Very good suggestion btw.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure hope they hurry up, can't wait for a real ass burner vindaloo, finally.

  21. Wata Come In A Me Room... says:

    Better make the most of it before the first Cat 3 comes along. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This will be one of the most secure places in East End.  Take a look at their website, that has detailed weekly progress pictures.    These are poured concrete buildings that are over 30 feet above see level, protected by a rocky coastal ridge (you cant see the buildings fromthe road with the setback).   If an Ivan-like storm comes around, folks will be secure in these buildings.  

  22. Anonymous says:

    What on God's earth does the sentence beginning 'Having waived the requirements for clean police records….no drug testing… etc etc…." mean? Is that the only way we can build using Caymanian labor? Free them from the sort of requirements that would normally be expected? Wow. As a Caymanian I am really pleased at how well they have done but it is rather humiliating that we have to exempt them from such things.

    • Anonymous says:

      What that means is that someone with a record is not permanently 'banished' from ever working again.   It is giving these individuals a chance, so that benefits them.   It benefits society as these individuals can earn a living and make it less likely to turn to crime for economic survival.      If everyone with a police record is unable to secure employment, how can they ever earn a living?

      • Anonymous says:

        13:08 yu are so right!! Please also let us remember that not all crooks comes with a bad police record.  In recent times we have had many incidents of "white collar" crime on island where thousands of dollars were stolen.  All of those thieves had spotless police records and references.  While not condoning drug us eand theft of any kind please bear in mind that most of us cannot spot a white collar crimer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, but I'd rather work the adding machine for a "white collar crimer", than hold the wood for a stoner with a power saw.

      • Anonymous says:

        And what about the waiving of the random blood testing for drug use, 13:08? That's ok with you too?

      • Bling Man says:

        Mebbe earn living selling ganja.

      • Anonymous says:

        Guess they should have thought of that before they broke the law.  As for the construction being done on time…I have heard that there is a lot of shortcuts being taken.  Moldy Drywall just being painted over etc.  From the things I have heard about this construction I would never risk my life getting surgery there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well…don't getinto trouble and your police record will stay squeaky clean! But I think it's bad that they're not made to go through the process like everybody else…that's discrimination right there!! ohh they earn a living by selling drugs, you don't worry about them..they probably make more than you.

      • Anonymous says:

        13:08, it was not JUST the police record that was waived, but ALSO previous references and random drug tests. It's sad that an employer has to go to those lengths to hire Caymanians. They are taking a big risk by doing this too, what if someone gets seriously hurt on the job because another worker was drunk or high. Construction is dangerous work. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree it should have been in spite of the records instead of circumventing them and keep the ones who came to work and worked hard everyday. It was stated in an embarassing way that seems to have an agenda.

      These are the Cayman Islands and that means Caymanians first.

    • Anonymous says:

      I work in an office and I'm not drug tested.  Does your employer drug test you?