Statement by the Minister of Health, Cornelius De Weever on the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC)

I was informed yesterday of two more patients who passed away in the SMMC while or after receiving surgical treatment. Seven cases have been reported by patients, family members or medical professionals and investigated by the Inspectorate of Health Care. However, the SMMC has not reported accidents and incidents with mortal consequences and/or a higher rate of complications to the Inspectorate which is mandatory.


The Council of Ministers received a briefing by the Inspectorate of Health Care who indicated that a lot needs to be corrected in short time to drastically improve the quality of care in this institution. The Inspectorate of Health Care is in the final stage of its official report on the SMMC, but based on the past events and the preliminary findings, I am strongly of the opinion that there leaves much to be desired.

Supervision by the Supervisory Council of the SMMC and daily management by the Board of Directors seem to have fallen short of their full responsibilities.

It’s unacceptable to allow the healthcare provided by our only hospital to decline.

The current situation at SMMC has my full attention and will be dealt with accordingly.