Premier: Hospital is ‘transforming moment’ for CI

| 27/02/2014

(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier described the opening of the Shetty hospital as a ‘transforming moment’ when he spoke at the opening of the facility, which promises to launch Cayman as a medical tourism destination. Alden McLaughlin said everyone knew that the country, having survived the global recession, could no longer rely on just the familiar two pillars of the economy, but medical tourism had the capacity to create a ”resilience to economic shocks”. The 52-year-old premier said Cayman had changed so much over his lifetime, as there was no tourism or financial sector when he was born, but he pointed to key historic moments that had transformed the islands and led to its success.

“This occasion today … I believe is one of those transformative moments for Cayman as was the case when the first seaplane landed in the North Sound in the 40s, as was the case when we passed the first banks and trust companies law in 1966, as was the case when Benson Greenall built the first hotel on Seven Mile Beach in the 50s,” the premier said. “This is one of those kinds of moments.” He said people would look back on the day and say it was a moment that changed Cayman. 

Commending Dr Devi Shetty, the visionary, word renowned surgeon behind the project and his partners Harri Chandi and Gene Thompson, he acknowledged that the project commenced during the previous administration.

He said, however, that from the onset the team took time to invite the opposition on many occasions to talk about it. From the very beginning, the premier said, the opposition were apprised on what the project was about and, as a result, they were able to offer support in the Legislative Assembly and understand enough about it so that when the government changed, there was a seamless transition to help deliver the project in a short time frame.

McLaughlin pointed to the resilience of the health industry because people get sick in good times and in bad times, and that, regardless of the economic conditions, people need care when they’re sick. He said he believed they would come to Cayman and bring their families, guaranteeing economic benefit for Cayman.

The premier pointed to the positive benefits and impacts he believed the hospital had brought so far, especially the jobs that had been created during construction, which had been largely taken by Caymanians.

“The impact, I believe, we can only just begin to imagine,” he said, as he described the technology associated with the hospital, which he said could be the kernel for a whole range of new business possibilities.

“Cayman stands today on the threshold of a whole new set of opportunities,” McLaughlin added.

The premier also noted the need to start influencing Caymanians about the world of possibilities offered by the hospital and the potential for careers outside the staple areas locals have traditional found work: finance, law and construction. McLaughlin said the success of the project was linked to the success of Cayman’s future.

Osbourne Bodden, the health minister, said the PPM government would continue what was started under the previous administration and live up to their legacy on this project and keep it going. He said the hospital, which was a centre of excellence, had been built with the sweat of many Caymanians and was offering services that were only previously available abroad. It was also a centre of learning and source of employment, as well as medical tourism. He described Dr Shetty as "remarkable", as he also paid tribute to him and his team. 

The health minister said the government believes Shetty and his team will fit right in here in Cayman as they are roles models for innovation and government had the highest level of confidence in the project. Bodden said the hospital’s potential to save hundreds of lives in Cayman and around world had put the country on the global healthcare map, while lowering costs for government health care.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While they are at it they'd better ensure that the doctors are all property qualified to be practicing on people's hearts. The Americans they claim they will attract will not come to an unaccredited institution whose medical staff can only meet medical qualification requirements in India and the Cayman Islands. Sorry, won't happen.

    CNS: Read HCCI expects many from US

  2. Transformative Indeed says:

    And to think that Caymanians would become bankers, accountants, and lawyers. But now doctors!  This means a change of direction in our educational institutions that are so use to giving bachelors degrees to banking and business admin students.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Alden did not try to take credit for anything. He plainly said that he was happy to help a smoth transition for the project between the two different governments. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Alden is is really good at taking credit for other peoples work…

    • Anonymous says:

      Now Mr Premier, let us see what you are made of, and create a worthwhile initiative to provide opportunities for local people.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Whether people like it or not we have to give Mckeeva credit for working hard to put this in motion in the face of a huge amount of opposition from people like Alden who vigorously opposed it in the LA as well as Ezzard who referred to it not as the Shetty Hospital but a misspelling of the name meaning manure. It is great to see Alden hailing the opening but he by no means should be given credit for it because if it was up to him it would have never happened.

    It was very refreshing to see young children express a desire to working towards medical careers during the open house at the hospital last week. I certainly hope that the CIG does everything they can to support young Caymanians who work hard to follow this dream. And thanks to Mr. Gene Thompson's determination it isalso a testament to what hard working Caymanians can accomplish, efficiently building this place in record time and on budget. Just imagine how different the Schools project would've been if someone like him was at the helm, just goes to show that government should focus on running the country and let the professionals in the private sector do what they do best.

    Thank You Mr. Bush this is a great thing you've accomplished for the Cayman Islands and you deserve credit for it.

    • Bai says:

      I am happy to agree, although I disagree with McKeeva on a number of things. This is clearly here to stay and we should welcome the opportunity- when life gives you lemons, as they say.

      Whilst reading this article from the India Times, I couldn't help but think wouldn't this be a brilliant opportunity for us to take advantage of the opportunities over in India as they have been eager to take advantage of the ones here? As a Caymanian who has had the luxury of living abroad abroad, it is a deeply fulfilling and educational experience. India has a brilliant medical system and would certainly be much cheaper and, thus, easier to encourage prospective Caymanian medical students to go there for study and training. As Shetty said "Cost is our strength and quality is their demand and I knew that a balance would have to be struck as we venture abroad". This is hardly a novel idea and we should openly nurture relationships with such states who are developing and growing at a much faster rate than our Western allies.

      That being said, we should not have to wait until opportunities such as these unfurl to start preparing our youth to partake in it.

      Just thought I'd leave that out there for readers.


    • Anonymous says:

      One thing Mckeeva did have was a lot of ideas. Where are all of Aldens he just seems clueless.

      Mac also spoke his mind and wasn't afraid of those UK bureaucrats.

      • Anonymous says:

        And thank God for those UK beaurocrats, without whom we would all still be paying for Emperor Mac and his court of hangers on.

        • Anonymous says:



          Thank what UK  beurocrats? do you really think that he Prime Minister along with his coalition Mr Clegg is putting  up wth the beurocracy in the UK?

          In 2010 this was Mr. Cameron and Clegg quote; [The coalition; Our program for Government].

          Quote; We share a conviction that the days of big government are over; that centralisation and top-down control have proved a failure.

          Quote; We believe that the time has come to disperse power more widely in Briton today; to reconise that we will only make progress if we help people to come together to make life better.

          Quote; In short it is our ambition to distribute power and opportunity to people rather than hoarding authority within government.

          Quote; That way we can build a free, fair and responsible society we wantb to see.

          Quote; We will cut red tape by introducing a one-in, one -out rule whereby no new regulation is brought in without other regulation being cut by a greater amount.

          Quote; We will abolish the unelected infrastructure Planning Commission and replace it with an efficient and demogratically accountable system that proves a fast -track process for major infrastructure projects. unquote; I  love this one!

          Mac was trying hard to cut the BS red tape, but Caymanians being narrow minded and immature cant see it.