Caring for Caymanians
Business View Caribbean interviews representatives of Doctors Hospital as part of our focus on healthcare options in the Caribbean.
CTMH Doctors Hospital (formerly the Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital) is a private, for-profit hospital centrally located in George Town, Grand Cayman, just minutes from the Owen Roberts International Airport. It was founded, and originally owned, by Dr. Steve Tomlinson, a Caymanian physician and general surgeon who expanded his small clinic into a hospital in 2000, and then sold it to a group of doctors, employees, and investors in 2016. Today, Doctors Hospital is an 18-bed, acute care, medical/surgical facility dedicated to providing exceptional health care to the Cayman Islands.
Doctors Hospital provides the following medical services: Anesthesiology & Pain Management, Breast Health, Cardiology, Diabetes Services, Family Practice & Primary Care, Gastroenterology, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Laboratory Testing, Maternity Services, Men’s Health, Nutrition Services, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Pharmacy Services, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery, Podiatry, Radiology, Surgical Care, Urgent Care, Urology, and Women’s Health.
“We have about 105 employees, and our staff comes from a variety of places,” says Hospital Administrator, Dr. Patrick Auman. “We do have many local folks; the second largest area that staff comes from is Jamaica; we have a considerable number of people who come from the United Kingdom, as well. We have visiting cardiologists, oncologists, and urologists, and we have a visiting reconstructive surgeon. “Most of them are first-world medicine trained doctors with specialty degrees from the U.K. and the U.S.,” adds Chief Pharmacist, David Pellow.
Doctors Hospital is one of three on Grand Cayman, an island with a population of 62,000. Auman explains that most of the citizens are covered by CINICO, the country’s health insurance plan, and that government employees are required to go the Health Services Authority Hospital (HSA) for treatment. “HSA has similar services but treats a different population,” he explains. “We’re the private hospital on the island and we cater to that group of patients. We work with a lot of managed care insurance companies on the island – Britcay (British Caymanian Insurance Company Limited) being the biggest insurance company that we do business with. But along with that, we do some CINICO patients if there are services that are not available at the HSA. And there are self-pay patients, as well. And we do have patients, occasionally, who are here on vacation – tourists that come in on the cruise ships. There are over a million tourists who visit the island every year. We don’t do a lot, but we do treat tourists – absolutely.”
When the new ownership group bought “Old Chrissie” in 2016, it went through a total rebranding process – along with the name change, and some reconstruction of the physical plant, it added new services and physicians. And, according to Pellow, those changes and investments are ongoing. “Since we took over the hospital, we reopened the maternity unit, so we’re putting a special emphasis on women’s health with additional OB/GYN and Pediatrics. That’s a brand new aspect.” In fact, Doctors Hospital has the only private maternity suites in the Cayman Islands.
“We’re investing and expanding in Orthopedics within the next year, and Cardiology is ready to take off,” Pellow continues. “Another interesting thing we’ve gotten into last year is medical cannabis. The Cayman Islands is unique in that area – it’s the only legalized place to have medical cannabis in the Caribbean, at the moment. The other thing we’re doing is changing our computer system here – electronic health records are going full tilt; we’re moving to digital in everything and that’s a multi-year process.”
“We also have a procedure down here called BalancedBack,” says Auman. “It’s done by a surgeon from Chattanooga, Tennessee who comes down here once a month and brings patients from the U.S. to specialize in a spinal surgery procedure with unique, patented equipment and prosthetics that are not FDA-approved in the United States. He’s been coming down here for about a year, now, providing this very, very specialized surgery, and he’s had a great deal of success with the procedure. It’s not necessarily for the local folks, but it is available to them.”
Over the last two years, Auman says that Doctors Hospital “has had a great deal of success as far as building on the basic services that make this hospital a brand name in Cayman, and our intent is to continue to pay attention to our bread and butter services, making ourselves accessible to the patients on the island. I think the business is growing because we’ve also recruited a number of physicians since 2016 to join the team, and we’re going to be recruiting physicians with different backgrounds to complement the staff that we have right now,” he adds. “So, over the next three or four years, you can expect us to provide services in different specialist areas.”
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AT A GLANCE
WHO: Doctors Hospital
WHAT: A private, for-profit hospital
WHERE: George Town, Grand Cayman