December 3, 2021

Cayman Brac’s Faith Hospital launches Emergency Helipad

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ribbon-cuttingVisiting UK Overseas Territories Minister, Baroness Joyce Anelay and Her Excellency Governor Helen Kilpatrick cut the ribbon on Faith Hospital’s new Emergency Helipad at an opening ceremony on Monday, 3 October, marking a very momentous occasion for Cayman Brac.

“This dedicated emergency landing site for Faith Hospital is a milestone for the Sister Islands’ healthcare delivery. It has already proved to be a huge benefit for our patients presented with cardiac emergencies,” said Dr Srirangan Velusamy, Director of Sister Islands Health Services.

Response time is critical for acute heart patients; the sooner they receive treatment the better their chance for a positive outcome and survival.

The main benefit of the now fully operational helipad is that it will be utilised by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) helicopter for patients with medical emergencies who need to be airlifted to Grand Cayman for further treatment.

In addition to airlifting patients to Grand Cayman, the RCIPS has assisted in a number of other emergencies, including bringing units of blood and specialist doctors to Faith Hospital to help stabilise trauma patients before transporting them to Grand Cayman.

“Healthcare is a field of constant change and we are blessed in the Cayman Islands to be able to offer acute cardiac services on par with developed countries,” noted Lizzette Yearwood, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Health Services Authority (HSA).

Located to the rear of the hospital, the new helipad also offers greater convenience and improved privacy for patients. Prior to its installment, the hospital’s parking lot had to be cleared for the RCIPS helicopter to land.

“As you can imagine this would result in inconvenience for other patients and visitors and draw a lot of attention to the scene which could possibly infringe on patient privacy. So the obvious thing to do was to designate an area for this purpose,” explained Ms Yearwood.

However, due to the property’s limited space, Faith Hospital had to seek an alternative solution. It was then that the hospital reached out to Mr Hurlstone, the land owner for the property on which the helipad is now located. Mr Hurlstone agreed at once to donate his land for the purpose of installing the helipad. He expressed that he was willing to do whatever he could to play a part in making sure the helipad was possible since he had experienced the critical importance of a timely transfer to Grand Cayman for his own health.

Once the property was secured power lines were moved, the land was cleared, the helipad was paved and inspections were carried out to ensure the helipad met all of the fire codes.

The completion and opening of the helipad was met with overwhelming support and satisfaction from the community. A few residents of the Brac have mentioned they are happy and reassured that in a case of cardiac emergency they will receive urgent and efficient care.

“I thank all the stakeholders who made this a reality, especially Mr Robert Hurlstone who generously donated the land,” said Dr Velusamy.
“Faith Hospital’s Emergency Helipad project is a great model for public-private partnership aimed at improving healthcare for the people of the Cayman Islands,” stated Councillor for Health Roy McTaggart.

Visit www.hsa.ky for more information and services offered at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority.

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