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Sunshine & Sutures: Cayman’s Bid for Medical Tourism

Construction is nearly completed on Grand Cayman’s ambitious effort to break into the highly lucarative worldwide medical tourism industry.

At a cost of $80 million dollars, the new complex dubbed “Health City” is a destination hospital and hotel designed to provide the highest quality medical treatment at a fraction of the price of foreign procedures..

By Johnny Pohlmann

Offering services at a cost of roughly half the rates charged by its US counterparts, Health City’s procedures and employees will be second to none in terms of quality. All key doctors on staff have already been hired out of India and the nursing staff will be comprised of professionals from Canada and the United States. Administrave positions are to be offered mainly to Caymanian applicants as much of the island’s work force lacks the training and qualification required for the more technical positions. Additionally, the directors of the project have a desire to have a minimum of 25% of the entire hospital’s staff be comprised of Caymanian citizens. To date, the facility has received roughly 3,000 resumes for the 140 positions offered.

The grand opening of the Healty City hospital is slated for February 25th, 2014 with the hotel opening to follow. Former tourism director Shomari Scott has been tapped as the project’s marketing director. Mr. Scott is extremely familiar with his new job duties as they closely mimic his responsibilities at his previous position within the Caymanian government. Mr. Scott has said that the emphasis on the project has largely shifted now from construction efforts to marketing and the aforementioned staffing. Health City’s plan is to initially market its services to those insured potential patients living in the greater Caribbean region. Their target demographic will then shift to insurance companies, employers and private individuals in the United States when official accreditation has been awarded to the new hospital. This process could take up to six months and is necessary before attempting to breach the much more lucrativeUS market.

The new faclity is also in talks with the airlines operating in Cayman to solve the logistical problems of providing destination medical treatment on a relatively remote island. The directors hope to have solutions to problems, such as availability of airilifts for patients, in place long before they are fully opened and operating. As Cayman moves toward capturing a slice of the medical tourism pie, Healty City hopes to be a front-runner in providing high-quality health care at an extremely affordable price point. Medical tourism is rightly described as the wave of the future and that wave is now breaking on Cayman’s shores.

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