Direct Charter Flights to bring St Maarten Patients to Health City Cayman Islands

St Maarten Photo 2

Cayman Islands based tertiary care hospital Health City Cayman Islands announced today that direct charter flights to St Maarten will bring patients from that country to the Cayman Islands for specialized medical treatment.

Following an agreement between Health City Cayman Islands and SZV Social & Health Insurances, the government-owned national health insurer in St Maarten, the weekly flights have been instituted with Cayman Airways utilizing the Saab 340B+ which currently serves the national airline’s Cayman Brac route.

Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO and Head of Medical Services at Health City Cayman Islands noted that the agreement is part of the hospital’s expanding reach across its target markets.

He said, “With the agreement with SZV Social & Health Insurances in St. Maarten, Health City Cayman Islands continues to grow our patient numbers and reach new markets to build medical tourism or, as we term it, destination healthcare in the Cayman Islands. We have ongoing operations in a number of Caribbean and Latin American markets, in addition to agreements with self-insured companies in the United States of America, and our dedicated office in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.”

Dr. Abraham continued, “International patient numbers continue to grow. Health City Cayman Islands treated international patients from more than 60 countries in 2016.  As our third anniversary approaches on April 2, we have treated over 25,000 outpatients and close to 3,000 inpatients to date. Health City Cayman Islands has achieved these numbers while maintaining the highest quality of care standards, bringing medical innovation to the region, and continually expanding into new markets.”

As part of the agreement with SZV Social & Health Insurances, Health City Cayman Islands will provide tertiary healthcare to St. Maarten patients, who are awaiting treatment that is unavailable within the country.

Cayman Islands Premier and Minister of Health Hon. Alden McLaughlin observed the benefits that Health City Cayman Islands and medical tourism bring to the Cayman Islands economy.

“We hope to see the number of tourists significantly increasing as patients and their families come to the Cayman Islands for healing and care, meaning more money will enter our economy,” said Premier McLaughlin. “Health City also means jobs for Caymanians.”

Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism Hon. Moses Kirkconnell outlined what this opportunity means for tourism in the Cayman Islands.

He said, “Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) is adding another dimension to our destination by playing a leading role in diversifying our tourism product to include medical tourism. Given the tremendous success Health City has achieved in a relatively short time, I have confidence that in addition to being the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, our Islands will also earn a reputation for being the Caribbean’s centre of health and wellness.”

Emil Lee, Minister of Labor, Health and Social Development for St. Maarten, discussed the benefits of the partnership for the people of St. Maarten.

He 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.”

St Maarten Inspector General Dr. Earl Best mentioned the quality and safety of care provided at Health City Cayman Islands as a major factor in the agreement.

He said, “I personally visited Health City Cayman Islands over a year ago to investigate the quality of this institution first hand and returned home impressed with what I saw. 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 gives the people and government of St. Maarten the assurance that patients will receive excellent and compassionate care.”

Chief Operating Officer of SZV Social & Health Insurances Ramzy Dennaoui noted both quality and cost as integral to the agreement with Health City Cayman Islands.

He said that SZV is interested in a long term strategic partnership that will provide the highest quality of care while also giving value for money. Overall, he said SZV is working to get the best care that is closest to home for its clients. He explained that while lack of direct airlift formerly proved a logistical challenge, the charter flights to the Cayman Islands are providing greater ease of access for St. Maarten patients.

Summing up the new developments, Dr. Abraham said, “The agreement with SZV adds to an increasing number of agreements signed by Health City Cayman Islands, regional governments and insurance providers to become a service provider of choice for specialized tertiary care. Such agreements underscore Health City Cayman Islands’ ongoing commitment to develop medical tourism in the Cayman Islands. We are also proud of our partnership with national flag carrier, Cayman Airways, in bringing international patients to our shores.”

The inaugural flight will leave Grand Cayman for St. Maarten on Tuesday, March 28 at 9 a.m. Cayman Islands time, with a brief re-fueling stop in Kingston, Jamaica before arriving in St. Maarten at 3:40 p.m. local time.

The return leg will leave St. Maarten with patients and SZV officials on board on Wednesday, March 29 at 9 a.m. St. Maarten time, and arrive in Grand Cayman at around 1:30 p.m. local time.

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.


1.Where do Health City Cayman Islands patients come from?

Health City Cayman Islands has treated patients from more than 60 countries in 2016 alone. While we treat local patients here in Cayman, we have also provided health care services to people from: USA, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Lithuania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and Grenadines, Serbia, Sierra Leone, St Maarten, South Africa, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks and Caicos, UK, Ukraine.

2. Where is Health City Cayman Islands looking to in order to increase international patient volumes?

Health City Cayman Islands is working to penetrate markets across the Caribbean, Latin America and North America. We have partners and/or mechanisms with promote Health City’s medical solutions in countries throughout the Caribbean, including in Jamaica, Turks & Caicos Islands, Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Maarten, , Belize, the Dominican Republic, and more. We are also present in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and throughout Latin America. We have agreements with self-insured companies in the United States of America, and a dedicated office in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.

3. How many patients has Health City Cayman Islands treated?

Health City has treated over 25,000 outpatients and nearly 3,000 inpatients to date.

4. How many surgeries have been performed at Health City Cayman Islands?

Over 1844 total procedures/surgeries have been performed at Health City to date, including over 264 cardiac surgeries and over 540 orthopedic surgeries.

5. Are international patient volumes at Health City Cayman Islands increasing?

In the first two months of 2017, there has been a 55 per cent increase in international patient numbers over the same period in 2016.

6.What statistics does Health City Cayman Islands use to judge its quality of care?

Health City maintains an infection rate of less than one per cent. Readmission rates and incidence of pressure ulcers are also less than one per cent. Health City’s “door to balloon time”- which is the time from receiving the patient at the emergency door to inflating the catheter balloon to suppress the artery clot, is less than 90 minutes, which proves Health City’s quality success rates further.  Health City Cayman Islands has also received the JCI (Joint Commission International accreditation. This is the International Quality Stamp of Approval.

7. What services does Health City Cayman Islands provide?

Medical specialties offered at Health City Cayman Islands include:

  • Adult & Pediatric Cardiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Adult & Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Adult & Pediatric Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
  • Neuro Surgery
  • Spine Surgery
  • Urology (HIFU)
  • Pediatric Endocrinology
  • Pulmonology & Sleep Lab
  • GI & Bariatric Surgery
  • Medical Oncology

About Health City Cayman Islands

Health City Cayman Islands, the vision of renowned heart surgeon and humanitarian Dr. Devi Shetty, is supported by two major healthcare organizations, Narayana Health and the U.S.-based Ascension, which is that nation’s largest faith-based and nonprofit health system, providing the highest quality care to all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Health City Cayman Islands, which became only the second hospital in the Caribbean to receive the Joint Commission International’s “hospital accreditation” and in record time, provides compassionate, high-quality, affordable healthcare services in a world-class, comfortable, patient-centered environment. Offering healthcare to local, regional and international patients, Health City Cayman Islands delivers excellence in adult and pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac electrophysiology, medical oncology, orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatric endocrinology, gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery, neurology, interventional neurology and neurodiagnostics, neurosurgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, gynecology, dental, sleep lab and pulmonology services.

For further information, visit

April 2, 2017 – Caribbean 360

March 27, 2017 – Cayman Compass