Retired St. Maarten judge Reuben Essed has received a lifesaving pacemaker for his heart at Health City Cayman Islands.
Essed, one of an increasing number of patients from St. Maarten to receive tertiary care at the hospital, has had a preventative pacemaker implanted by doctors at the facility.
The retired judge was advised by his cardiologist, Dr. Meredith Sedney, to consider a pacemaker – but to have the procedure done at Health City because St. Maarten did not have the sophisticated capacity needed for the surgery.
“There are some procedures that we are never going to do in St. Maarten. For that, it is good to have a good contact with a hospital who can do all these procedures,” she said.
Among the things that impressed the St. Maarten cardiologist was the transparency of Health City personnel like chief interventional cardiologist and electrophysiologist Dr. Ravi Kishore. “I’m very impressed about how he is working and how I’m able to discuss cases with him,” he said.
“Especially when they are not clear-cut cases. So, brainstorming with Dr. Ravi is absolutely fabulous. That’s why we bring the patients here and sometimes it’s not needed to bring the patients here because we have just discussed before. And that’s a great thing – the communication.”
It transpired that Essed’s case was a complicated one which, Dr. Kishore agreed, needed close consultation with the patient and his primary cardiologist. “We finally managed to come to a conclusion that Mr. Essed may not require cardiac resynchronization therapy because his heart function is pretty reasonable.
“However, his ECG (electrocardiogram) abnormality suggests that he may be at risk of developing intermittent heart block, which can be pretty dangerous. Especially when you are on an island with limited acute tertiary medical care,” Dr. Kishore said.
Essed, with his new pacemaker implanted, said: “I recommend this institution to everyone, wherever in the world, who might need some medical attention, especially in this field.”
A growing number of St. Maarten residents are receiving critical care at Health City as part of an agreement between the hospital and SZV Social & Health Insurances, the government-owned national health insurer in St. Maarten, through weekly flights operated by Cayman Airways to provide tertiary healthcare to those who are awaiting treatments unavailable on the island.
And as Dr. Kishore points out, it makes good economic sense, too. “We have earlier managed some patients of St. Maarten with great success and with fantastic outcomes at a much lower cost to the insurance company. I guess that has provoked the continued inflow of patients.”