Healthcare practitioners, specialists and professionals in the Cayman Islands provide services in public and private healthcare to three distinct demographics:
- Expatriates and
- Medical Tourists
Services offered then fall into one of three subcategories: pre-acute care, acute care, or post-acute care.
- Pre-Acute Care – this consists of Public Health Services, Primary Care, Pharmacy Services, Laboratory Services and Diagnostic Imaging Services.
- Acute Care – includes Urgent Care, Accident or Emergency Care, Inpatient General Hospitals and Medical Tourism.
- Post-Acute Care – more specialist services, including Home Care, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities, Long-Term Care and Nursing Homes, Palliative and Hospice Care.
Although on-Island care is available across these areas, residents often travel to Florida, USA for speciality treatments or assessments for severe conditions (upon referral). It is also not uncommon for residents to be airlifted to Florida after being severely injured, being referred for complicated surgery or seeking treatment for premature infants.
Compared to other jurisdictions, the Cayman Islands have relatively good standing when it comes to investigating the population’s overall health. The Health Insurance Commission (HIC) prioritise compliance with the Health Insurance Laws and Regulations, meaning that the HIC can issue fines to employers, insurers and more if they were to find evidence of non-compliance with such regulations, which includes the existence of unregistered health professionals, employers failing to effect and continue health insurance payments, and other similar breaches. For instance, The Health Insurance Act (2013 Revision) was issued to order that every person, Caymanian or otherwise, needs to be covered by at least the basic Standard Health Insurance Contract (SHIC), whether that be on an individual or company-basis. According to the Economics & Statistics Office (ESO), The Cayman Islands Government provides health insurance plans to approximately 21% of the population. The Cayman Islands National Insurance Company (CINICO), a government-owned insurer, provides coverage for pensioners, civil servants, veterans, seafarers and their families. Although there is the issue of many refraining from retiring in Cayman due to lack of after-retirement health insurance benefits, benefits for impoverished or destitute residents are widely provided.
Unfortunately for adolescents in Cayman though, reports have shown that the student population has continued to struggle when it comes to mental health. According to a 2020 survey administered by the National Drug Council (NDC) and the Alex Panton Foundation, 27.4% of Cayman’s teens said they had engaged in self-harming behaviour, with 17% noting that they had seriously considered suicide. Out of the participants, 12.5% indicated that they had been diagnosed with a mental illness, with a slightly higher prevalence in girls. Thankfully, 85% of the students who had been diagnosed reported seeking help.
The opening of Sea Change, a new residential health facility in East End, will help provide greater support for those experiencing mental health issues. The Youth Ambassadors Programme (YAP), which was created in 2019, has also helped provide a place for teens to educate their peers, share their experiences and work towards recovery as a community. Mental health professionals in Cayman are encouraging parents to be more observant of their teens’ anxieties, especially since the start of COVID-19, which caused a shift in routine and lifestyle for young adults across the globe.On a positive note, the Compendium of Statistics (2021) reported that Cayman has an average life expectancy of 82.3, where males are expected to live for approximately 80 years, and females 85 years. This ranks the Cayman Islands in 14th place among some of the highest life expectancy rates in the world.
2021-2022 Healthcare Milestones at a Glance
- The HSA opened their new specialist clinic, which now offers complimentary approaches to medicine, Chiropractic services and more
- The HSA are also incorporating Braille throughout their facility, and outfitted their waiting room with ergonomic seating
- Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) opened their new satellite medical care centre in Camana Bay, as well as a new clinic in Stake Bay, Cayman Brac
- Plans for a new $350 million hospital, Aster Cayman Medcity, has been announced
- Total Health opened, a 5,500sq ft facility with an on-site Lab and Imaging team
- Cayman continues to receive continual technological enhancements: advanced radiology services, computerised tomography (CTs), “no squeeze” digital mammograms, a 3.0 Tesla MRI machine, 3D and 4D ultrasounds, echocardiography, GI endoscopy and more.