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Healthcare in the Cayman Islands

By Andrea Lumsden

The Cayman Islands has built a high-quality healthcare system over the past few decades, providing residents and visitors with full-time access to excellent health services and putting this British Overseas Territory on the medical tourism map. From general medical care—including dental and vision—to specialised services such as gynecology, paediatrics, cardiac surgery, chemotherapy, and hospice care, Cayman’s healthcare is excellent and readily accessible.

Quantity and quality

As a small country with a full-time population of approximately 70,000, Cayman’s high number of medical practitioners per capita is impressive. According to Cayman Resident’s 2019 figures, there are there are approximately 4.5 doctors, and 6.3 nurses for every 1,000 people residing in Cayman. In contrast, the United States has approximately 2.6 doctors for every 1,000 (The World Bank). Additionally, all practitioners must meet a set of rigorous criteria set forth by the Cayman Islands Department of Health Regulatory Services such as licensing and registration in an approved jurisdiction and a letter of good standing, among other requirements. Such high standards extend to all medical facilities.

With three full-service hospitals and over 150 registered healthcare facilities on Grand Cayman, including a walk-in urgent care clinic and pharmacies in every district, there is no shortage of services for those seeking medical attention. There is also diversity in medical offerings such as cutting-edge radiology services, a technologically advanced forensic laboratory, CT and MRI machines, digital mammography, 3D and 4D ultrasounds, echocardiography, and GI endoscopy. Inspections of all healthcare facilities are required by law and must meet the standards of “the United Kingdom, Canada or the United States of America,” according to the Health Practice Law.

Medical specialities

Cayman residents of all ages also have access to adult and paediatric specialty health services and tertiary care such as endocrinology, neurology, neurosurgery, medical oncology, pulmonology, urology, and critical care services. In recent years, medical tourism has increased and people from all over the world are choosing the Cayman Islands for its excellent and affordable medical services. One example, according to this Reader’s Digest article, is the draw the Cayman Islands has for Canadians, which may come as a surprise to some given Canada’s reputation for high-quality healthcare and ranking as number one globally by US News. Industry feedback suggests it is the ability to skip the often-long wait times for surgeries in Canada that has prompted Canadians to procure medical services in the Cayman Islands.

In 2014, Health City Cayman Islands opened its doors to residents and visitors seeking affordable specialty health services and has since performed hundreds of successful heart surgeries, putting Grand Cayman on the medical world stage and adding an economic pillar to an already thriving economy. With approximately 40 percent of patients coming from overseas, Health City can expect to attract a growing number of medical tourism visitors when it completes its new purpose-built cancer treatment centre in 2020.

Paying for healthcare

Cayman Islands law makes it mandatory for all residents to have health insurance. All employers are required by law to cover at least 50% of the cost of a health insurance policy for each employee, but not for his or her spouse or children. However, since every resident, regardless of age or employment status, is required to have health insurance, most employers provide benefits at either full or reduced cost in order to cover an employee’s family. Self-employed residents must pay for their own coverage and those who cannot afford insurance can contact the Department of Children and Family Services to determine their eligibility for assistance.

Anyone interested in relocating to the Cayman Islands via independent means residency must demonstrate they have “adequate” health insurance at the time of their application.

For more information on public and private health insurance options, read this informative overview from Cayman Resident. General information on Cayman’s public health services can be found on the Health Services Authority website.

If you are considering a move to the Cayman Islands, our team of real estate specialists can help make the process a smooth one and provide further information on healthcare or make introductions to medical practitioners. For more information on life in the Cayman Islands, contact our team.

Andrea Lumsden headshot

About the author

Andrea Lumsden has worked with Dart since 2013 and has been writing professionally since 2003. Graduating from University of Central Florida with a BA in Communication, Andrea has worked with clients across a range of industries, including financial services and real estate. Raised in Cayman by Costa Rican and American parents, she’s a New Yorker at heart who enjoys reading and travelling with her husband and three children.