Health City Cayman Islands officially opened its new Radiation Oncology Centre in Camana Bay this week, ushering in a new era of hope for cancer patients in the Cayman Islands and surrounding territories.

Equipped with the latest technology in the form of a Siemens TruBeam Varian Lineae Accelerator, the Centre is the first of its kind in the Cayman Islands and one of the most advanced in the region.

It marks the first phase of the 70,000-square-foot modern, state-of-the-art medical facility being built on three acres of land to the south of Camana Bay, at a cost of US$100 million. It will be officially named the Gene Thompson Radiotherapy Centre, in homage to the late developer and entrepreneur, who was instrumental in establishing Health City.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Health City Clinical Director, Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil called the new Radiation Oncology Centre “a symbol of hope, built on a legacy of excellence in medicine which balances compassionate patient care with research, development and innovation.” He added: “The technology which is available means we are now able to provide effective, precise, and less invasive cancer treatments for the people of the Cayman Islands.”

Distinguishing services which will be offered at the Centre include External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT); 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3DCRT); Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT); Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT); and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT). Special services such as Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS); Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT); and Total Body Irradiation (TBI) will also be offered. Brachytherapy Services will be accessible in the future.

Cayman Islands Premier Wayne Panton, who was in attendance, extended his congratulations to Health City on behalf of the Cayman Islands government. “This facility will dramatically transform the options of our people to regain health and wellness without suffering the disruption, cost and inconvenience of having to travel away from their homes and families to receive this lifesaving cancer treatment option,” he stated. Premier Patton thanked the institution “for making amazing strides over the past few years in improving our access to high-quality health services, physicians and treatment facilities.”

The construction of the new facility is a major step towards advancing local health care, an effort which is largely dependent on synergistic partnerships and strategic alliances. This was highlighted by Sabrina Turner, Minister for Health and Wellness, who stated that one of the goals of not only her ministry but also of the current administration, is to promote healthier living through access to health care services and wellness education.

“My colleagues and I all recognize that in order to achieve this goal we must work together with private sector and NGO partners to strengthen our local health care system. I am grateful for Health City Cayman Islands’ ongoing investment in Cayman’s health care system, and the opportunity that it affords them to offer equitable, accessible, evidence-based, best practices-informed, multi-disciplinary cancer care to our people right here at home,” Minister Turner stated.

Located where the majority of the population live and work, the facility is a major part of the development of Camana Bay.

Justin Howe, President of Real Estate Asset Management at Dart, called the new center “a transformative step in health care delivery in the Cayman Islands and a demonstration of what happens when long term planning is paired with world-class delivery.” He lauded Health City’s efforts, stating that “this commitment to investing in innovation and infrastructure for the benefit of current and future generations aligns with what we are doing at Dart, and we welcome this development as an important feature of the future of Camana Bay.”

Health City’s Chief Business Officer, Shomari Scott, noted: “The new Radiation Oncology Centre is an outstanding health care resource for the community, not just for cancer treatment but also specialized radiation services. There is no longer the need for the people of the Cayman Islands to travel overseas for advanced care and be away from family members when their love and support is most needed. This translates to more lives saved and a better quality of life for those who will benefit from these services.”

Upon completion, Health City Camana Bay will feature several medical specialties not currently available in the Cayman Islands. Key among those will be a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), an emergency pavilion and critical care unit, and a robust multispecialty program which includes robotic surgery. The facility is expected to be fully operational in 2024.