Health City’s Dr Shetty bringing medical education to Cayman | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, world renowned cardiac surgeon, entrepreneur and chairman and founder of Narayana Health, whose vision it was to create Health City Cayman Islands, has said that he plans to further establish the internationally accredited specialty hospital as a leading medical education institution serving the Cayman Islands, the wider Caribbean and other countries in the Western Hemisphere.

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. Health City has also begun construction of a new super-specialty hospital in Camana Bay, which the integrated cancer care aspect of the facility is scheduled to be open by November 2022 and the remainder by last quarter 2023.

But the founder and chairman said providing high-quality medical care is only one aspect of his vision.

“At some point in time, we need to convert our entire Health City as an institute of medical education, nursing education, paramedical education,” said Dr Shetty as he addressed Health City staff at a Founder’s Day event on May 7.

Through its Healthcare Explorers program, Health City already provides a variety of educational opportunities for students in the Cayman Islands.

Said Dr Shetty:

We do have an obligation to the government and people of the Cayman Islands, who went out of their way to help us become established over the past eight years. To pay them back, we will convert Health City to be an institution for training the students of the Cayman Islands as the future dynamic doctors, nurses, medical technicians with magic in their fingers.

Dr Shetty has created a legacy of advocacy with respect to medical education and professional development and has been recognized for his innovative vision, having promoted the use of technology in medical training long before COVID brought school into our living rooms.

“Unless we get into a nontraditional way of training medical specialists, unless we create a methodology of using technology to train people, this world will be in big trouble,” he said in a 2017 interview with Harvard Business Review.

The award-winning cardiac surgeon has also pointed to the high standard of affordable medical education being offered in the Caribbean as an aspirational alternative to what he refers to as “elitist” medical training offered in India and elsewhere.

“If you go to the Caribbean region, there are 35 medical colleges training fantastic doctors for the US in a rented 50,000 sq ft space. Why are we spending Rs 400 crore? It is ridiculous,” he said in a 2017 interview with the Indian Express.

Dr Shetty told Indian Express:

Medical colleges don’t require 140 members to train a hundred students. In fact, 140 faculty members can run a medical college with a 1,000 students. So while the whole world has changed, we haven’t. We have made medical education elitist. Children from poor families are not dreaming of becoming doctors. This will have tremendous consequences. Most of the outstanding doctors across the world come from deprived backgrounds. These are kids with fire in the bellies, and they are ready to work for 24 hours to change the rules of the game. When children from rich families become doctors, they opt for radiology, dermatology and other such specialities where they can go home at 5 o’clock.

Dr Shetty’s plans to provide medical education in the context of Health City is core to his vision. In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, he explained that medical institutions that also serve as educational institutions provide a mutually beneficial service to young residents who are undergoing training, with cost benefits on both sides.

Health City’s month-long Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) for example, provides high school and university students who are studying medicine/allied health, or who are on an educational track towards such studies, with real-time exposure to Health City’s model of high-quality, low-cost, destination healthcare. The programme also offers a $1000 stipend to interns. The application deadline for the programme is May 30.

Since its inception, Health City has touched the lives of thousands in the Cayman Islands, providing care and treatment within the community through more than 12,700 emergency surgeries and more than 142,000 outpatient services.

As it celebrates its 8th birthday, Health City also celebrates its reputation for outstanding care and treatment, its many “firsts” and for the training of Cayman’s future healthcare professionals.