Aster Cayman Medcity represents a tremendous opportunity to diversify the Cayman Islands economy beyond tourism & financial services. It is a way to build a third economic pillar when the existing ones have been disrupted. The Cayman Islands created prosperity by embracing growth industries & competing globally, & must now create a future with the same vision & action.
As of now, over 90% of the Cayman Islands economy is driven by just two sectors – tourism & financial services. By building world-leading enterprises, these sectors contributed to the development of the Cayman Islands & created a huge number of jobs for local people. But today, these sectors are under pressure due to the impact of the pandemic & global competition in financial services.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that economic diversification & the building of a new industry is of the utmost importance to the future of Caymanians. This project represents that very opportunity & brings together all the elements that are necessary for its success.
The first true pillar of our economy emerged in the late 1940s, with the building of the Seaview Hotel on South Church Street. Can you imagine where we would have been if we’d been happy with just that one hotel? Instead, we continued to develop the offerings for tourists & created THE destination in the Caribbean if you wanted the best tourism experience.
A strong industry emerged, providing employment, business opportunities & driving economic growth. New opportunities in hospitality, adventure sports & more were born as a result of the growth in tourism.
The financial services sector started in the Cayman Islands in the early 1950s, with the opening of Barclays Bank in 1953. We now have the 5th largest banking & finance sector in the world. The industry is an economic powerhouse that brings investment to our shores & employment to Caymanians.
Imagine what would have happened if we had stopped at just one bank? The growth of the sector & more ventures did not diminish the success of individual providers, in fact it created their success by attracting business to our Islands. We evolved into THE destination in the Caribbean for financial services & with good reason.
Medical tourism in the Cayman Islands is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17%. More focus, investment & enterprise in this sector will drive our future growth & create opportunities.
Currently, our Government spends $35m per annum on tertiary healthcare services, but much of this has to be spent by Caymanians overseas where they seek treatment. This transfers our wealth to Florida or further destinations. We want to reverse this trend, & attract patients from many other countries, to become THE destination for destination healthcare in the Region. This will create that valuable third economic pillar at a time when it’s truly needed by so many Caymanians.
The potential for this sector can be envisioned by considering the fact that in 2017, more than 1.4m Americans traveled internationally for care. Plus there are patients from so many more countries that we can cater to.
World class healthcare plays an important role in enhancing the attractiveness of a country as an investment destination. While the Cayman Islands competes with other countries to attract new business sectors such as technology, global workers, retirement services & others, a vibrant economy with world class medical facilities will help put us at the forefront of choices.
The best companies & individual investors will appreciate the feeling of health security, in a world where that feeling has been shattered. The healthcare sector provides a fillip to our domestic economy by spurring the demand for construction, supporting services, & hospitality.
Over the next 20 years, Aster Cayman Medcity will bring $3-400m of construction projects, nearly 1,000 new Caymanian jobs, & over $80m in Government fees, duties & permits. However, the direct economic benefits go far beyond that.
According to a comprehensive KPMG economic analysis, the project will bring upwards of $4 billion USD to our economy, impacting hospitality, support services, education, wider construction, infrastructure & more. The benefits of Aster Cayman Medcity will percolate to all Caymanians.
We should all feel proud that Aster DM Healthcare recognises the Cayman Islands as a great location from which to drive their growth. Together, we can make the Cayman Islands THE destination for destination healthcare.
When is the project likely to start? Our aim is to break ground in late 2020. Although that might feel very swift, given the economic damage caused by Covid-19, the need to support the construction sector and the fact that so many have lost jobs, we wanted to waste no time in starting to repair some of that damage and the lives it has touched.
Our aim is to break ground in late 2020. Although that might feel very swift, given the economic damage caused by Covid-19, the need to support the construction sector & the fact that so many have lost jobs, we wanted to waste no time in starting to repair some of that damage & the lives it has touched.
We intend to use Caymanian contractors & traders wherever technically feasible & that will definitely include the main build. Where contractors are hiring, we’ll also be applying some pressure to ensure that maximum Caymanian employment is gained from the project.
Both Aster & the local team feel passionately that building a hospital & environmental responsibility need to go hand in hand. Although it is early days, we are already looking at technology & innovation as levers for achieving the lowest possible environmental footprint. Our target areas already include - Use of efficient energy generation (Example: Solar), waste water capture & use, onsite waste management with a near-zero landfill component, full recycling programme, low energy consumption technologies (Example: Air conditioning), & Maximisation of green space, fully integrated into the design using local flora.
Aster Caribbean Holdings has received full written approval from the Central Planning Authority (CPA) for both its Planned Area Development in West Bay and its application to commence clearing and filling the site, ready for construction to commence on its 160-bed hospital tertiary and quaternary hospital.
Ms. Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare and Lead for International Development, including Aster Cayman Medcity in the Cayman Islands, has been awarded the accolade of inclusion in the list of Women of Influence in the Arab World 2021
Aster DM Healthcare, a rapidly growing healthcare player in India, has received the accolade of being recognised among The Economic Times’ Best Healthcare Brands of 2021. The eminent award recognises brands for their commitment to innovation in the healthcare sector, patient satisfaction and loyalty, quality of services offered and clinical excellence.