Gene Thompson, Director of Thompson Development Ltd., has announced that he and his group intend to make the Cayman Islands one of the world leaders in medical destination tourism. Thompson Development is one of the leading development companies in the Cayman Islands whose business ventures include commercial and resort development, tourism, real estate, retail and medical tourism.
Partnering with the Aster group, based in Dubai, this new medical center will be focused on multi-disciplinary care that will include tertiary care, cardiac care, neurosciences, pediatrics and a host of other medical services. The Aster Group currently operates 25 hospitals and 117 clinics throughout the world. With a focus on advanced technology and the highest level of medical services, AsterCayman has been dubbed “medical tourism 2.0” and will make Cayman the regional leader in medical tourism and a world-class provider of the finest medical care available today.
By 2024 it is estimated that medical tourism will be a $112 billion dollar industry. This is a fast growing industry worldwide, growing at a rate of roughly 17% per year. It is projected that destination tourism could make up +/- 30% of Cayman’s entire economy when it is up and running. Worldwide 1.7 million people travel for medical procedures and care and one of the goals of this project is to bring a sizeable chunk of those people to Cayman’s shores.
This project is multifaceted. It is projected to initially provide 150 hospital beds and that figure could swell to 500 beds to service demand. In addition to that, 100 assisted living units are planned and that number can be increased to 300 under the current plans should the need arise. A medical university is also to be created. Telehealth services and diagnostics to the sister islands will also be offered. When it’s all said and done, it is the hope that this project will make Cayman #1 globally in the ‘hospital beds per 100k people’ statistic. No small feat indeed.
Aster will initially finance the project with a cash investment of $150 million dollars. The timeframe to complete the complex is set at an ambitious 15-18 months. By comparison, Health City took roughly a year to complete. It is expected to take a parcel of roughly 40 acres to facilitate the designs and the announcement of the planned location should come in 30-60 days per Mr. Thompson. The project will be ‘green’ by design, incorporating solar power and a recycling center in addition to other aspects aimed at enriching the ecosystem in the area.
Cayman’s healthcare costs are growing at an unsustainable rate. This project aims to provide local care for Caymanians that was previously only available overseas. It is also designed to provide career opportunities, construction jobs and contribute $4.1 billion dollars to Cayman’s gross domestic product over a 20-year span. The project should generate 950 jobs for Caymanians at a minimum. It will also give Cayman’s youth the opportunity to become interested in medicine and the medical industry – and provide a local path for them to pursue a career in the field in their home country.
AsterCayman will make the islands the regional leader in medical destination tourism and will globally cement the Cayman Islands as a world-class healthcare destination.