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CayHealth Initiative Launched

Hon Mark Scotland, MLA

Statement to the Legislative Assembly by

Honourable J Mark Scotland, JP,

Minister for Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and culture

24th June, 2010

The New CayHealth Programme at the Health Services Authority

Madam Speaker, I am sure that everyone will agree that improving access to healthcare, preventing disease and controlling chronic illnesses contributes to better quality of life.

One of the priorities of the government, which my ministry and various stakeholders have been actively working on over the past year, is the systematic development of a sustainable high quality healthcare system in the Cayman Islands. A major focus of this system will be increasing access and continuity of care.

Madam Speaker, we need to more fully embrace evidence based clinical management of chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma to improve the quality of life and prevent poor health outcomes; and work towards the reduction in the prevalence of these conditions through an effective national health education, promotion and prevention strategy.

These needs are the driving force behind the development of a new Health Services Authority programme called CayHealth. The programme is founded on the concept of evidence based healthcare and will improve access to, and ensure the continuity of, healthcare to all of the Health Services Authority's patients.

The CayHealth initiative is specifically designed to take the pressure off emergency and acute care services by focusing on implementing preventative healthcare measures and providing primary health care.

Patients are at the heart of the health care system and the government has been committed to listening to their needs. It has also taken into account the views of stakeholders, who like patients, are calling for improved access to health care services.

The CayHealth initiative is the Health Services Authority's response to the feedback from patients and stakeholders, which will provide the H.S.A.s clients with:

  1. Access to a preferred primary care physician

    Under this new plan patients will have the benefit of scheduling all their appointments with a preferred general practitioner who will also coordinate their access to specialists and overseas care, if required.

    With a preferred general practitioner patients will get more personal care, as it allows the physician to build up a body of knowledge about a patient's complete medical history. This in turn will allow the physician to work productively and directly with patients to improve their medical condition as they have the benefit of consistently monitoring their care and progress.

  2. Access to care in their communities

    CayHealth brings health care to the people in their districts. Instead of traveling to the Cayman Islands Hospital, under CayHealth patients will have the convenience of accessing all the available healthcare services at their respective district health centres.

    This will reduce wait times and improve access to quality health care - two of the most important health care issues highlighted by Health Service Authority users. Making significant gains in these two priority areas will be crucial to improving the health of all residents and ensuring the future sustainability of the health care system.

  3. Access to medication at district health centres

    In addition to easier access to physicians, residents will also be able to fill their prescriptions at the district health centres. This measure will once again avoid unnecessary waiting times by decentralizing services as standing in line is sometimes inevitable when a large volume of persons access services at the same point.

  4. Access to Health education & healthy lifestyle programs

This programme will provide access to:

  • Lifestyle health and fitness programs undertaken by the Public Health Department
  • Diabetic education classes.
  • Other health education and health promotion activities undertaken by the Public Health Department or coordinated with other agencies

The new CayHealth initiative is just the beginning of a journey that will shape health care for future generations. However, as with any new initiative it is always best to do a phased implementation and therefore in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Affairs and Housing my Ministry has identified clients of the Department of Children and Family Services who currently receive healthcare benefits through the department's health benefit program as the first participants in this new initiative.

Representatives of the Department of Children and Family Services and the Health Services Authority have been meeting over the past months to plan the implementation strategy and develop the program parameters. These will be outlined in a public outreach campaign starting this week, including community meetings and briefings with various stakeholders.

Madam Speaker, I believe this initiative provides a tremendous opportunity to improve the health of the people of the Cayman Islands and the sustainability of our healthcare system.

I believe that that CayHealth programme will help the Ministry and the H.S.A. as we move towards a sustainable, patient-focused healthcare system that provides greater access to quality healthcare services, improves focus on health prevention and improve the quality of life for all residents of the Cayman Islands.

Thank you Madam Speaker.