Part I – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – A visit to the Private Hospital

Aug 23, 2009   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Part I – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – A visit to the Private Hospital

Coming from Canada, where we have universal health care, my friends and family are always interested in hearing about health care in Cayman Islands and my thoughts of living in a country where all expats must purchase private health insurance. Up until this past June, I was fortunate in that I had no reason to use the health care facilities here in the Cayman Islands.

That all significantly changed this past June when I fell off a bike and landed “just right” to break my clavicle (collarbone). My wife, who was with me at the time, drove me to the Christie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital (the local private hospital), which is all of three minutes from our house. Have I ever told you how much I love living here where we are so close to everything?. As my wife parked the car I walked in and advised admissions that I had broke my collarbone and would very much appreciate if she could admit me without the long admissions process as I felt myself going into shock and was about to pass out. I sat down, put my head down on the counter and waited. Not more than a couple minutes later my wife walks in wondering why I was not being looked after and where everyone was. I looked up and sure enough the admissions personnel was not there. Not to worry, a nurse arrived seconds after my wife and advised that they were ready to see me. Now talk about service 🙂

I was taken to one of the emergency rooms where two nurses and student immediately started taking care of me. The first order of business was to administer some fluids and pain killers intravenously (“IV”). I have never see IV bottles drain so quickly. But, they stopped me from going into shock and I never passed out.

After seeing the doctor, it was off to have some x-rays taken. I was very fortunate in that I did not have to get up on the x-ray table. Those are hard enough at the best of time, I couldn’t image having to do it with a broken collarbone. What I found most interesting about this experience, is that when the x-rays were done, the doctor asked for payment. It seems that he was a separate profit center and you had to settle your x-ray bill with him.

Back in the emergency room, the doctor confirmed that I had broken my collarbone but they did not have an orthopedic surgeon on staff. For this service, I was referred to the Cayman Orthopedic Group which operated Monday through Friday (This accident of course happened on a Saturday afternoon). I was therefore put in a sling (which my wife had just purchased at one of the local pharmacies) and sent home with lots of pain killers.

All of the hospital staff was absolutely wonderful and I would have no difficulty in recommending them or using their services again (although hopefully not anytime soon ;-))

Next time, in part II, I will discuss my experience with the Cayman Orthopedic Specialists.

Take care,

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