The Parliamentary delegations agreed to urge their governments to facilitate organising a health care conference in Aruba later this year to discuss this and other health care-related issues on the local and Kingdom levels. Governments, hospitals, health care insurance providers and patient organisations would be invited.
Member of the Second Chamber Pierre Heijnen of the Labour Party PvdA remarked that it was essential to prepare well for this conference. “The success of a conference depends on a solid preparation. You have to be able to take concrete decisions,” he said. The delegations agreed to assign a quartermaster for the conference.
The St. Maarten delegation has asked The Netherlands for support to realise a soft loan of NAf. 30 million to expand and upgrade St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) during a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPOK on Wednesday.
Member of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Marijke Linthorst of the Labour Party PvdA said it was important to maintain the lucrative services of health care at the hospital. One of the ways to make SMMC profitable is through medical tourism, she said.According to Linthorst, it was “unacceptable” that government should support a hospital that loses money while private clinics make money by offering lucrative medical services. “What is your government doing to make sure that the lucrative medical treatments flow back into the hospital?” she asked. “It is not right to ask The Netherlands for help with a loan while your government doesn’t do what it should,” she said.
Richardson responded that St. Maarten wasn’t asking for money, but merely for support by the Dutch to negotiate a low interest loan. He said that the St. Maarten Government was looking into the aspect of private clinics, but added that the SMMC project was urgent and the clock was ticking.
Source is Daily Herald, article is here: http://www.thedailyherald.com/islands/1-islands-news/36499-st-maarten-delegation-seeks-support-for-soft-loan-to-smmc-.html