Patients boarding the first charter to the Cayman Islands on Wednesday.
PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Emil Lee arrived on the inaugural charter flight from Health City, Cayman Islands, to a spectacular welcome home from Prime Minister William Marlin, Finance Minister Richard Gibson Sr. and Windward Islands Airways Winair on Tuesday.
“It was good to see first-hand the impressive facilities and quality of care that our patients will experience while at Health City. This has been a process that started before my term. The process began with a visit to the Health City facilities from the Inspector from St. Maarten, Dr. Best. The Inspector visited the facility to ensure that it met the required standards for our patients,” said Lee.
He said Health City has done an exceptional job of building the relationship with St. Maarten and its specialists over the years, an intangible and important accomplishment as many of the opportunities to improve patient care and the financial impact of our medical referrals hinge on how well-managed the relationship is before and after the patient is sent for his or her medical procedure.
Access to these facilities, in terms of how to get our patients there, was the bottleneck that prevented Social and Health Insurer SZV from utilising Health City’s services in the past, including issues such as overnight flights and visa requirements for flights that go via the USA. It is a long flight for the SAAB34 and necessary precautions such as a refuelling stop in Jamaica are in place to ensure safety for the passengers.
Lee reiterated that it is SZV’s decision to send patients to Health City in the Cayman Islands and that he is not involved with regard to where patients are going. Relationships with other countries continue. The addition of Health City allows SZV to tap into its resources to take care of the backlog of approximately 100 patients who have been waiting for service. It also provides an opportunity to assess whether this is a long-term relationship that can be built upon.
Commenting regarding the cost involved, as the Cayman Islands are an expensive destination, Lee stated this was a good reason to go. “Cayman Islands do not have any wage taxes and they fund their tax structures through import duties,” he said.
This means that no taxes are deducted from the people’s salaries and the products they purchase are more expensive because they are heavily taxed. This translates to a higher cost of living. However, SZV has created an all-inclusive package by purchasing the flight with a locked-in airfare.
“Health City also has onsite accommodations, which means that the cost for hotel rooms and meals is also bundled in the package. They have also negotiated a fixed bulk price per medical service. So, although Cayman Islands has a high cost of living, from a medical perspective we have been able to secure very attractive fixed pricing that is competitive with other destinations,” concluded the Minister in his statement on Wednesday.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/64802-lee-health-city-package-high-quality-affordable