US partner pulls out of deal with Health City

| 07/11/2017 | 20 Comments

(CNS Business): The faith-based US healthcare provider, Ascension, has pulled out of its partnership with Health City Cayman Islands, the East End hospital founded by the internationally renowned Indian cardiac surgeon, Devi Shetty. Since the state-of-the-art facility was first conceived and then through the construction and opening, the hospital’s goals have changed, and the ending of the deal with its US partner, originally signed to much fanfare in 2012, appears to signal an end to the original ambition of attracting medical tourism from North America. In recent months it has become apparent that HCCI is more focused on the local and regional market. 

In a press release issued Tuesday, Ascension said it was focusing on its other international partnerships but would “maintain a close relationship with Narayana Health and its Chairman and Director, Dr Devi Shetty”.

Since it opened in 2014, the 104-bed hospital has served around 46,000 patients, officials said. Its initial focus was on cardiac and orthopedic procedures but it has gradually expanded into other services. It has received accreditation by the Joint Commission International and praise for its quality outcomes and compassionate care.

HCCI said the facility treated patients from 60 countries in 2016, and it is offering innovative services and top class medical care. However, the goal of kick-starting medical tourism in Cayman from North America has not been realised.

Nevertheless, in the release about the hospital going it alone the founder claimed success for the facility. “The commendable performance of this facility underpins the success our differentiated business model even in unexplored international territories like Caribbean Islands,” Dr Shetty said. “We remain confident about the prospects of this facility in terms of attracting international patients from the neighbouring islands in need of care.”

He said the hospital greatly appreciated Ascension’s support over the past five years, and that it had been “a valued partner in this project, and our organisations have learned much from each other”.

John D. Doyle, Executive Vice President of Ascension and President of Ascension Holdings and Ascension Holdings International, avoided detailing in the release why the deal between the two healthcare providers was coming to an end. He said the goal was to address unmet needs of residents of the greater Caribbean region particularly those who are poor and vulnerable.

“Our objective has been less about owning hospitals in other countries, but rather about helping those hospitals achieve success and sustainability by offering services such as resource and supply management and biomedical engineering through Ascension’s Solutions Division subsidiaries,” Doyle said. “With the success of HCCI, Ascension can continue to focus our energies and resources on our other international needs.”

Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension, said the hospital had achieved great results.

“Most importantly, true to our mission and our goals for the partnership, HCCI has provided free surgeries and procedures for more than 200 children from Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and other countries who otherwise could not afford treatment,” Dr Tersigni said. Most recently, HCCI sent staff to neighboring islands hit by this season’s hurricanes to provide needed medical care.

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Category: Healthcare, Local Business, Medical Tourism, Tourism

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So many crabs in your barrel.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    The article mentions over 200 free surgeries and procedures for children, but from what I've been told this is misleading since, although they were free to the families, HCCI was, in fact, paid by charitable/business organizations for many of the procedures performed on these children from overseas. Can someone confirm this for sure?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    The backlash of the Bush Administration continues.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    primary care is the solution?😉

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  5. Anonymous says:

    "In recent months it has become apparent that HCCI is more focused on the local and regional market."

    If there is a focus on local markets then there should only be one standard applied for registration of medical practitioners. Either allow Indian qualified doctors to work at HSA or don't allow Indian qualified doctors to work at H City.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They have had to become focused on the local market because their medical tourism project has failed.

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    • PD says:

      But if that was enforced then some big money people would not have there gravy train to ride on any more. Money talks and bullsh&% walks!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    At the beginning of this project, HCCI clearly stated it would not encroach on areas that would affect the work of other medical specialists and it's reneged on that promise. Ascension's exit is the first sign of a failing medical tourism project. Medical tourism the third arm of the Cayman economy? What a joke, and what a lie. And Bush and his colleagues, and a large portion of the general public fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

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    • MM says:

      I'm thinking that HCCI has realized they do not need this partnership in order to become profitable and recognized. I'd dare to say that the majority of the patients that HCCI has assisted all these years were acquired through referrals and the hospital's own marketing and not from the partnership - what is the point of paying a partner if you are doing all the work and getting results on your own?

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  7. Anon says:

    This is no surprise. Predicted by many from the beginning.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    health city the best thing ever happen to cayman islands! i am happy it is here.....amdd yes, i am a native😊☺

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  9. Anonymous says:

    No surprise there! This project was undertaken with the same "build it and they will come" mentality as the pro dock group. Only they don't come and we are poorer for it.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I might be worth exploring if the CIG and HCCI can reach an agreement for HCCI to be the primary health provider for the Cayman Islands with a view to closing the existing government run hospital. The existing government run hospital has been mismanaged and if we can get HCCI to provide guaranteed service levels at a reasonable cost then the government should get out of the business of providing health services in the Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That's a big if for a place that over-uses tests (full spectrum tests drive up health costs in US and at HCI) and has never intended to do emergency care because that's a money loser (unless you overbill medicaid for tests in the US). What you're taking about re 'mismanagement' is the difference between health as a 'public service' and health for profit. Neither is right or wrong but the HSA's problem has been Government's schizophrenia on whether health is something you have to pay for or a public service, i.e, politicians unwillingness to be seen forcing people to pay wither higher insurance costs or bankrupting medical costs.

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  11. PD says:

    Could it be there are to many hands in the pot?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    So the law was changed to promote one type of business and now that is not the business it is doing? Can the law be changed back please?

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    • West bay Premier says:

      3:17am , which Law are you talking about , USA new tax Law , or CI Law ?

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      • Anonymous says:

        CI 'concessions' to HCI. (Including Law changes regarding physician registration, etc.)

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        • West bay Premier says:

          I think the USA new Tax Law caused them to pull out .

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      • Anonymous says:

        The law that meant that victims of clinical negligence would be under-compensated and risk a lifetime of misery because Shetty demanded a crude cap on damages.

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