Cooperation between hospitals St. Maarten, Saba and Statia necessary

As you know, the Dutch parliamentarians, who are making a trip around the Caribbean islands that are a part of the Kingdom, are having meetings with the parliamentarians of the countries St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao these last couple of days. These meeting are on St. Maarten.

Wednesday they visited the St. Maarten Medical Centre and according to the Daily Herald that hospital is concerned about patients with kidney problems: there is a need for a kidney specialist and it is very difficult to find kidney donors.

Director Dr. George Scot said the hospital was operating with some 17 specialists when its operations required at least 27, with about seven rotating ones.

Dutch MP Ronald van Raak asked what could be done to improve SMMC’s relationship with Dutch public entities Saba and St. Eustatius and what patients could be catered to in St. Maarten instead of their going to Guadeloupe, which is farther from home and presents a language issue. Scot said efforts had been made to include the two islands and an agreement on the joint purchasing of pharmaceuticals had been signed on September 30, but the island later “went a different route.”

The parliamentarians agreed to install an interparliamentary committee to research the differences in care in the Kingdom and make recommendations within two months for improvements.

This is what Today from St. Maarten mentions about hospitals working together:

“Cooperation Scot also explained that while there is cooperation between the various hospitals on the different islands there is a need for the specialists to be united so that there is cooperation on the work floor. At the moment the hospital directors meet regularly for discussions but Scot candidly said they can’t do much more than talk, partially because the hospitals have different structures. For example some are public and others – the St. Maarten Medical Center included – are private.

“Hospitals must have similar structures and be guided by similar laws and guidelines. There should be a hospital committee to discuss problems and how to work together. Maybe we need a representative body for specialists as well so they can deepen cooperation,” Scot said.

The hospital director has also said that cooperation has not deepened with Saba and St. Eustatius because of choices those islands made.

“For example we have our own pharmacy and we offered to Saba and St. Eustatius for them to join with us and purchase medicine so we could get better bulk prices. They chose to go a different route. We also need to plan for visits to Saba and St. Eustatius more efficiently,” Scot said.”


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