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Caribbean News

Healthy City Cayman Islands Marks Eight Years of Service and Innovation



Shomari Scott, Chief Business Officer, Health City Cayman Islands

Hospital looks forward to more “firsts” for Cayman and the Caribbean


#CaymanIslands, May 13, 2022 – On the heels of a groundbreaking ceremony for Health City Camana Bay, officials at renowned Caribbean hospital Health City Cayman Islands are taking a moment to celebrate eight years of operation as one of the region’s leading tertiary care providers.

Since opening its doors in 2014, Health City has provided medical, surgical, diagnostic, therapeutic and advanced care services – including many “firsts” in areas such as robotic navigation for joint replacements, installation of artificial hearts or left ventricle assist devices (LVAD), transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) or implantations (TAVI), minimally invasive clot extraction for strokes, and renal denervation – to patients from dozens of countries around the world.

“This anniversary is a great milestone for Health City Cayman Islands, the people of the Cayman Islands, and the Caribbean as a whole,” said Shomari Scott, Chief Business Officer of the Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited facility. “It’s been eight years of success, eight years of lives saved, eight years of helping to make sure that persons have a renewed life,” he reflected.

The East End-based flagship hospital, known for its high-quality, affordable health care services, will soon be complemented by the new facility on the outskirts of the capital, George Town, broadening the range of medical and surgical services currently available in the Cayman Islands. Being built at a cost of US$100 million, Health City Camana Bay will feature a specialized Cancer Care Center with comprehensive and advanced oncology offerings, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), an emergency pavilion and critical care unit, and a robust multispecialty program which includes robotic surgery.

The 70,000-square-foot hospital is expected to be ready in two years, but this November, a 10,000-square-foot radiotherapy center for cancer care will be unveiled.

“It will be one of the most exclusive types of integrated oncology centers, and Caribbean patients will no longer have to go to the United States and other places where the cost can be out of reach,” said Scott, who added “we’re excited that we’re going to be able to give that gift to the Caribbean this year.”

Health City Cayman Islands has also garnered a reputation for its humanitarian activities and collaboration with nonprofit organizations, which have enabled low income families from around the world to bring their children to the facility to receive complex and often lifesaving treatment free of charge.

Founded by renowned cardiologist Dr. Devi Shetty, Health City Cayman Islands is also known for its medical and administrative efficiency, which is reflected in its highly competitive pricing structure. In many cases the cost of a complicated cardiac procedure at Health City is less than the copay for a similar operation in the United States or Canada.

“We are dedicated to responding to the needs of our community,” said Scott. “Over the past eight years we’ve been growing, operating and innovating … breaking new ground for the next generation,” he added, recalling that Health City has been at the forefront of delivering world-class, pioneering health care in the Caribbean since opening its doors.

Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Health City’s Clinical Director and Chief Cardiac Surgeon, developed the Caribbean’s first regional center for an advanced form of life support called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) in 2017. The ECMO system acts as an artificial heart or pair of lungs during therapy, allowing the patient’s organs to rest while natural healing of the affected area takes place.

In the first surgery of its kind in the Caribbean, the Health City orthopedic surgical team repaired a patient’s shoulder using an Arthroscopic Latarjet procedure in 2018. Dr. Alwin Almeida, Chief Orthopedic Surgeon and Joint Replacement Specialist, performs the minimally invasive surgery to treat recurrent shoulder dislocations that are typically caused by bone loss or fracture of the glenoid cavity.

Also in 2018, Health City increased its Intensive Care Unit’s trauma and triage capabilities to handle more complex trauma cases, and the hospital’s previous intensive care and triage areas were transformed into a 21-bed center, which provides 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians, general surgeons and anesthesiologists.

During the COVID- 19 pandemic when borders were closed, Health City Cayman Islands focused its attention on meeting the health care needs of Cayman Islands residents and expanding its outpatient health services.

“What we’ve accomplished so far is just the beginning,” promised Scott.


Source: Health City Cayman Islands

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Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.

The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.

At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.

We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”

View the newly released calendar of events here:…

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: 12,362 Seniors Registered Under New Social Pension Programme



#Kingston, March 28, 2023 – There are currently 12,362 seniors registered under the Government’s new Social Pension Programme.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House on March 2, at Gordon House.

The initiative targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension (overseas or local) or any other retirement, old-age or disability benefit or regular income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility.

“We are evaluating the manner in which we qualify persons to go on the programme. This is a discussion we will have to have, as some people fall through the cracks simply because they might have a refrigerator, or they might be lucky enough to have a television at home,” Mr. Samuda said.

“The direction in which we are heading, to have those things, does not move you from poverty to prosperity. So, the Government has an obligation to do everything possible to improve their quality of life, and so we will be looking at that,” the Minister added.

Mr. Samuda said between March 2022 and January 2023, the programme disbursed $446 million.

To register for the social pension programme, persons may visit any of the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.

They will be required to complete a social pension application form, accompanied by their Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, and proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or a valid passport.

They should also take along a valid identification (ID), such as a driver’s licence, passport or voter’s ID, proof of bank account and any other document that may be required to process the application, for example, proof of citizenship.

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