Charter flights to transport patients to Cayman Islands

~ Flights begin today, Wednesday ~

AIRPORT–Health City Cayman Islands and Social Health Insurer SZV have started weekly flights to deal with the backlog of patients scheduled for treatment based on pending appointment requests dating back from October 2016 to February 2017, for neurology, neurosurgery and urology.

Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Emil Lee recently travelled to the Cayman Islands and experienced first-hand how patients would be treated when arriving.

  Prime Minister William Marlin and Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr. welcomed Lee back to the island at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM prior to a press conference with Lee, Health City Marketing Director Shomari Scott and SZV representatives.   

 SZV has recognized an increase in the need of medical referrals abroad for neurology, neurosurgery and urology over the past year. Given the demand for continued care of SZV-insured patients, SZV has made arrangements with Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) to provide consultation and treatment for its insured with pending appointments for these specialties. The first group of insured will travel to the Cayman Islands today, Wednesday, for consultation and treatment.
  This arrangement with Health City Cayman will alleviate the waiting time for SZV insured and offer an alternative to the current network of international specialists contracted with SZV, addressing the current increase in demand.

  Minister Lee said, “Health City Cayman Islands provides St. Maarten residents with skilled medical personnel and leading-edge diagnostic and surgical procedures and techniques, with proven success rates. The direct flights provide ease of access to St. Maarten residents, including a visa-free travel experience for citizens without the need for lengthy layovers. We see this as a beneficial partnership for both territories and look forward to its continuation.”

  Lee also mentioned that he personally had visited Health City Cayman Islands to investigate the quality of this institution first-hand and returned home impressed. “The fact that Health City Cayman Islands is accredited by Joint Commission International, boasts skilled surgeons and high quality of outcomes and English is spoken by staff gives the people and Government of St. Maarten the assurance that patients will receive excellent and compassionate care,” he said.

  In a previous statement SZV Director Glen Carty said, “We trust that this agreement with Health City Cayman Islands is an alternative that will not only reduce the waiting time, but foremost offer quality care. It is imperative that our new general hospital becomes a reality. The medical referral abroad process continues to be a challenge that affects our insured, the funds and remains a logistical struggle.

  “Thirty million guilders per year is being spent on referrals abroad. The new general hospital will not just be a facility, but it will allow us to house the medical care our people need close to home, improve recovery time and ease the financial burden of the funds managed by SZV.”

  It is anticipated that the direct charter flights will continue for an initial period of six weeks, with approximately 20 people on board each flight. Once the schedule is completed, Health City Cayman Islands and SZV will make a decision on the continuation of the charter service.

SZV continues to strive for affordable quality care within its Medical Referrals Abroad network of medical providers, seeking the best available care for its insured. Persons seeking information on SZV’s medical referral process can find this on the website .

Source: The Daily Herald