Health City has announced a new partnership with the national insurance company of St. Maarten and Cayman Airways to help that country clear a backlog of nearly a hundred patients waiting for care…
A weekly medical charter between the two islands kicks off Tuesday (28 March).
Government said this signals growth in medical tourism, and could spell big things to come for regional air transit.
Just shy of the hospital’s third birthday, Health City Cayman Islands has already treated more than 28,000 patients from more than 60 countries. Now, that number is set to grow by nearly 100.
“Health City will be chartering an aircraft from Cayman Airways specifically to bring patients in from St. Maarten for consultations and treatment,” said Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell.
The direct weekly flight to St. Maarten starts Tuesday, and will help provide an easier transport option for that country’s backlog of urology, neurology, and neurosurgery patients.
“They’ve been offering medical excellence that’s affordable, however access has been an issue,” said St. Maarten’s Minister of Health Emil Lee of Health City. “It’s great you have a wonderful product but getting here is too complicated, really it’s been a barrier to sending her patients here.”
Mr. Lee said the charter flight will help keep more money in the region.
“The fact is, the more money that stays within the Caribbean, the better it is for the entire Caribbean,” said Mr. Lee.
“Very simply put, the growth of medical tourism in Cayman has the potential to increase stay over visitation, and it’s trickle-down effect will benefit, as we’ve seen services such as the hotels, the rental car companies, restaurants, the retail stores, and taxis,” said Mr. Kirkconnell.
Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell agreed. Aside from the boost to medical tourism, the strengthening of ties with St. Maarten could open up east-west connectivity in the Caribbean.
“When you look at opportunities to start moving east and west in the region, we believe we are positioned extremely well for that,” said Mr. Kirkconnell.
“Right now this is a purpose driven charter, but the opportunity I think is there for an exchange that goes much deeper than that,” said Mr. Lee.
The flight will utilise one of the national flag carrier’s two Saab 340 b+ aircraft, departing Grand Cayman Tuesdays and returning Wednesday mornings.
The weekly charters are expected to run for six weeks, and carry about 20 passengers each way.