Commissioner Maria Buncamper-Molanus, joined by the Director of SLS Mr. Hose Booi and Team Leader Lourdes Richardson, visited the future locations of the two new laboratory sites, one in Dutch Quarter; the other, Betty’s Estate.
The purpose of this visit, which took place on Thursday morning, was for the commissioner of Public Health to get an insight into what will be taking place at these 2 Phlebotomy (blood drawing) centers.
The concept behind the establishment of these two SLS branch locations is that of going to the customer. Both Cul de Sac and Dutch Quarter are densely populated areas and in many cases without direct public transportation to the SMMC where thus far the lab is located. "So to provide better service to the community, these two new locations will bring the aspect of convenience, improved and efficient service to the customers" Commissioner Buncamper-Molanus said.
"There will no longer be the need for persons to travel to the Medical Center in Cay Hill if they live in the Dutch Quarter area or the surrounding areas; this goes as well for persons in the vicinity of Cul de Sac, St. Peters, South Reward, and Saunders areas, who can make use of the future lab location in Betty’s Estate, close by Dr. Spencer’s office.
Commissioner Buncamper-Molanus also stated that the St. Maarten Laboratory Services is currently looking for a suitable location in the Cole Bay area in order to offer the same quality service to customers in the Colebay and the Simpson Bay areas.
But for the immediate future the Dutch Quarter and Betty’s Estate locations are being finalized with furniture and reception areas. The Lab in Dutch Quarter is scheduled to open on June 1, 2009, while the lab in Betty’s Estate is expected to open one month later.
At both locations, blood and urine samples can be taken. The Betty’s Estate location will house the micro-biology lab (The Bacteriology department has outgrown the space we are now occupying at SMMC.) and relevant tests can be analyzed at this location, all other analysis will continue to be done at the main office at the SMMC in Cay Hill or outsourced when necessary.
At the future lab site in Betty’s Estate, there will also be a water analysis unit to investigate the quality of water; this in order to comply with new Federal Legislation regulating the quality of drinking water.
"The St. Maarten Laboratory Services took over the ADC lab in September 2008. As of January this year a new director has joined the team. Staff, management and board have demonstrated continued determination and are the driving force behind the progress being made for which I am extremely proud," concluded Commissioner Buncamper-Molanus.