Service crew

The CIG concedes the qualifications of doctors

Health City Cayman Islands

(CNS): Doctors Hospital, which is challenging government agreements with medical tourism facilities, won a partial victory last week over the list of doctors. During the legal proceedings, the government admitted that a two-tier system had been created because doctors on the “institutional list” (those who work in medical tourism establishments) do not need to answer to the same high standards of experience and qualifications as all other doctors practicing in the Cayman Islands and on the Master (General) List.

Although there are still legal challenges to be settled, Tom Hickman QC, the lawyer representing the government in this case, accepted that all physicians possess the same or equivalent level of qualification and experience for registration. He agreed that the Health Practice Regulations regarding this issue apply to physicians on the institutional list as well as those on the master list.

“Until this hearing, the local medical community had repeatedly expressed concern that institutional roster physicians were subject to a much lower level of regulation than primary roster physicians, with consequent concerns for patient safety,” a spokesperson for McGrath Tonner, the law firm representing Doctors Hospital, told CNS after the case closed.

She explained that this meant doctors could be registered to practice here as Institutional List Practitioners with potentially very limited experience and qualifications.

The lawyer explained that when Judge Richard Williams renders his judgment in this case, he will explain how it will affect the current legal situation and what remedies must be implemented by the government to create a level playing field.

“But the government’s official position, as set out in court last week, means that all doctors licensed to practice in Cayman must now have an appropriate minimum level of qualification and experience. The “second tier” institutional list will effectively be abolished,” she added.

During the judicial review, Doctors Hospital raised two areas of concern. One was the significant tax relief granted to both Health City Cayman Islands and more recently to the proposed development of Aster Cayman Medcity, which has not been offered to the rest of the medical community. This point is now in the hands of the judge.

The second, now conceded by the CIG, concerned the manner in which doctors and professionally qualified health care providers in these bounded institutions are registered, which has been a source of concern since it was enshrined in the agreement which paved the way for Health City. This was signed between McKeeva Bush, then Prime Minister, and Dr Devi Shetty in 2010 to circumvent the issue that India is not one of seven countries where doctors licensed to practice in Cayman must have completed a training and obtained their qualifications.

During the case, Chris Buttler QC, who argued for the hospital, said his client was not accusing Health City doctors of being unqualified but that this two-tier division for medical practitioners opened up the way for less experienced and less qualified physicians. practice here, undermining the standards

Doctors Hospital said the concession from the government was a ‘huge win’ for the sector because in future the government has accepted that all doctors practicing medicine here, regardless of where they work, will all have to answer to the same criteria.

“In our view, the next natural step to support this breakthrough would be to abolish the institutional list completely,” said Dr. Case closed Friday. “This would ensure that our public is protected from the risks of a two-tier system – a system which has, until now, allowed less qualified and experienced doctors to practice in Cayman Islands with minimal supervision and without the benefit of adequate career development and training.”

The Cayman Islands Medical and Dental Society (CIMDS) recently launched the “Green Tick”
awareness campaign on the two separate registration lists of health care providers. Dr. Rado urged people to educate themselves and make informed choices about health care. He also asked the government to reconsider the institutional list.

See Dr. Rado’s full statement here.