Part II – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – The Orthopedic Surgeons

Sep 6, 2009   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Part II – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – The Orthopedic Surgeons

As noted in Part I, as a Canadian who always had universal health care, all of our friends and family wanted to know what it was like living in a country where you had private insurance. This multi-part article discusses my experience with the Cayman Islands Health care services after I broke my collarbone in June 2009.

I left off Part I departing the private hospital with my arm in a sling, my collarbone broken and full of pain medication in my system (and pocket) waiting for Monday to see if I could see the Orthopedic specialists. I cannot say I remember much of the weekend, I am told that I slept a lot :-)

Monday rolled around and my wife was able to arrange an appointment with the Cayman Orthopedic Group. No waiting, the appointment was for Monday! The Group is actually a number of Canadian Orthopedic surgeons, with varying specialties, that rotate throughout the year on one to two week “visits”. Thinking about it, it sure is a really nice gig if you can get it. The surgeon flies down for two weeks, brings his family who has a great vacation, they all stay in the company condo and he makes some money while enjoying the beautiful Caribbean weather with his family.

The surgeon I saw on Monday specialized in reconstructive surgery (i.e. hip replacements). I was impressed by his honesty. He said he could do the surgery but strongly recommended that I wait for two weeks until the next surgeon arrives. It so happens that the next surgeon arriving was Dr. David Sanders from London Ontario who is an orthopedic trauma surgeon for London, Ontario, Canada performing primary and reconstructive surgery for all complex fractures of the pelvis and extremities. It does not take much convincing to wait when a surgeon tells you that you “smashed” the collarbone and that it will be a “bun fight” to get it back together and he recommends you see another surgeon.

Although I was convinced, I had others that suggested I fly to the US or Canada to have it fixed. It appears that this is quite common practice. An interesting part is that my private insurance would have covered 100% of my surgery if I left the Island, but covered only 80% if I stayed. That is one issue that I have never followed up on. Nevertheless, I had decided to stay on the Island and wait for a few reasons. First, I could not imagine flying with a broken collarbone that was floating around and was painful when I walked never mind flying. Second, I felt very comfortable with the Doctors and the health care services on the Island.

We booked the surgery for July 14 and the Orthopedic group began obtaining the necessary approvals from the insurance company. I am told that the local insurance company uses a firm in the United States to review and confirm that the surgery is required. In my case, one look at the X-ray showed it was necessary.

Next time in Part III – Preparing for Surgery.

Kind regards,
Richard

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