Sunday 22 September, 2019

Cayman is now better equipped to treat cancer and blood diseases

Dr Lundie Richards, Consultant Medical Haematologist-Oncologist

Dr Lundie Richards, Consultant Medical Haematologist-Oncologist

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) is enhancing its blood diseases and cancer care services with the recruitment of a full-time medical haematologist-oncologist. 

The addition of a specialist with the ability to diagnose and treat blood cancers, blood disorders (eg. anemia), bleeding conditions (eg. hemophilia), blood clots, as well as solid cancers, has made comprehensive cancer care for people in the Cayman Islands more easily accessible, closer to home. 

Dr Lundie Richards, Consultant Medical Haematologist-Oncologist, has history with the HSA having been contracted part-time over a few years ago before joining the organisation’s pathology laboratory and oncology teams full-time in August. In addition to haemotology and oncology services, he will provide expertise in blood bank and transfusion medicine. 

“I am honoured to work within the multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, patient centred team of professionals at the HSA,” said Dr Richards. “My team and I will aim to facilitate positive health outcomes and contribute to the overall strengthening of the healthcare system of the Cayman Islands by always putting our patients first. I truly believe this is key, and am very pleased that we have already taken the first step by making the service available here on island so we can reduce the need for patients to seek this type of service overseas.” 

Prior to Dr Richards full-time employment, Dr Gillian Wharfe, a visiting oncologist-haematologist, travelled from Jamaica at least once a month to treat patients. Dr Wharfe, who has been working with the HSA since 2002, will continue to provide medical care for patients.  

“Blood cancers are treated differently from many solid cancers, which means that people who have blood cancer often choose to see a haematologist over an oncologist for their treatment. Having a full-time specialist on staff who is practiced in both haematology and oncology allows us to diagnose and treat a wider range of cancers and provide more comprehensive, quality care to our patients,” said Medical Director Dr Delroy Jefferson. “An important part of cancer care is having the ability to receive it locally where family and friends are nearby for support. As such, we are delighted to welcome Dr Richards whose knowledge and experience will be most beneficial to increasing the value of our services to the people of our islands.”

Dr Richards received his medical degree from the Instituto Superior Ciencias Medicas, Villa Clara, Cuba, where he graduated with “Diploma de Oro” (Gold Seal Diploma - First Class Honours). He completed his Doctor of Medicine in Clinical Haematology & Oncology at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. He earned the prestigious Common Wealth Scholarship award in 2000 and pursued his Master of Science in Transfusion and Transplantation Sciences at the University of Bristol UK. He has also obtained a Master of Public Health from Lakehead University, Ontario Canada and Master in Health Management from McMaster University, Ontario Canada.

Dr Richards has worked as a haematologist-oncologist in Jamaica for over 20 years. He has held several senior positions globally including: Director Laboratory Services Jamaica, Director National Blood Services Jamaica, Director Health Services Planning and Integration Jamaica, Advisor Blood Services Development and Management – Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization and Senior Program Consultant at the Ministry of Health, Ontario Canada. Dr Richards is fluent in both Spanish and English and enjoys cricket.

Patients will need a referral for haematology and oncology services provided by Dr. Richards. For more information, please contact the Chemotherapy Unit at 244-2872.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: