HONG KONG – Acclaimed health care innovator Dr. Devi Shetty believes the Caribbean can become a global example of health care excellence where its citizens need not rely on outsiders to tend to their health care needs.
“We would like every child born in the Cayman Islands or (the) Caribbean region to look at becoming world-class doctors, world-class nurses, medical technicians (and) scientists,” Dr. Shetty stated while attending the GREAT Festival at the Asian Society in Hong Kong in March.
Dr. Shetty, Chairman of India’s Narayana Health and founder of Health City Cayman Islands, and his team of medical professionals are playing their part to build the skills of Caribbean nationals in the medical field.
Described by the Wall Street Journal as “The Henry Ford of Heart Surgery”, the former physician of the late Mother Teresa said Health City plans to build a medical school, nursing school and paramedical school in the near future. “With the onset of medical college … education institutions, the whole perspective of the younger generation will change. And that is important for the Caribbean region, important for the Cayman Islands, important for the rest of the world so that you are cared for by your own people, not outsiders,” he asserted.
Dr. Shetty recalled building Health City Cayman Islands “with the idea of transforming health care of the Caribbean region and the Western Hemisphere – and perhaps the rest of the world. We have a phenomenal opportunity to use technology and make health care safer for the patient, accessible and affordable.”
Speaking about the benefits of the Hong Kong event, where he highlighted Health City as an example of his mission to make high-quality, affordable health care more accessible to more people in more places, he said “this is a fantastic platform for us to show to rest of the world what we are doing, and what we are capable of doing. We need to showcase what we are doing. With the support of the government of the Cayman Islands, we built a phenomenal story. Now the rest of the world should listen to the story and possibly reproduce it.”
While in Hong Kong, Dr. Shetty also met with the Cayman Islands government delegation to the conference, which included Premier Alden McLaughlin, Minister of Health Dwayne Seymour, Minister of Financial Services Tara Rivers, and Minister of Commerce Joseph Hew, in addition to other government officials from the British Overseas Territory.
Dr. Shetty was invited by event organizers to speak on “Living Longer, Living Better”. He was also part of a panel discussion on the topic along with Dr. Steven Fang, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Invitrocue, and Justin Howden, Head of Government Affairs at Swisse Wellness.
The surgeon noted the huge need for greater access to health care around the world. “Globally we are spending trillions of dollars on health care annually but still hundreds of millions of people do not have access to affordable quality health care,” he said.
Dwayne Seymour, Cayman’s Minister for Health, said: “The people here are excited to see what Dr. Shetty and his partners are achieving in Cayman. But what is also important to me are the opportunities being created for young Caymanians to have more career options in the medical field. Dr. Shetty’s plans to build a medical school as part of the Health City campus will aid this cause greatly.”
Health care was one of the central topics for the second day of the four-day GREAT Festival at the Asian Society in Hong Kong, with the day’s overall theme being “LIVE”. The first day’s theme was “WORK”, the third day focused on topics under the heading of “PLAY”, and the final day was all about education with the theme of “LEARN”.