Access to NHS for specialised care

Patients with specialised healthcare needs in the Cayman Islands can now access overseas treatment through the UK National Health Service (NHS) quota system at standard cost, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nick Gent. 

Cayman recently joined this system, which allows British Overseas Territories to access specialist care that is not available locally.

Dr. Gent explained that this inclusion in the quota system benefits Cayman by providing access to highly specialised clinical services at an affordable cost for complex care needs, such as rare cancers and complicated pregnancies. 

The quota system, open to a total of five patients annually, was expanded to include Cayman along with Ascension Island, Bermuda, and Tristan da Cunha, in addition to territories like Bermuda and Turks and Caicos.

Dr. Gent emphasised that this resource would be reserved for exceptional cases, not for minor medical issues. It serves as an additional option for the healthcare system, with the ability to offer highly specialised care to those who may otherwise have difficulty accessing it. Dr. Gent noted that although no cases have been identified yet, the facility provides reassurance as it offers care at the standard NHS tariff.

The selection of cases for this facility will be based on individual evaluation, focusing on complex and rare medical conditions not easily treated through the current preferred providers in Florida. 

Dr. Gent highlighted the importance of ensuring the Cayman Islands population has access to world-class healthcare systems and expressed interest in future collaborations to exchange expertise rather than sending patients overseas.