Donner visits the Windward Islands

Vice-President of the Council of State, mr. Piet Hein Donner, visited the Dutch Caribbean islands of Saba and St. Eustatius on respectively Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Donner who is accompanied by the Secretary of the Council of State, mr. Visser is making his first visit as Vice-President of the Council of State, a position he holds since the last quarter of 2012. Previously he held the function of Minister for home Affairs and Kingdom Relations. 

On Tuesday mr. Donner met healthcare providers on Saba, including Dr. Joka Blaauboer, Director and Chairman of the Board of the Saba Health Care Foundation, Sydney Sorton, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Saba Health Care Foundation, Roy Smith, Chairman of the Board of the Hon. Edwards Home, physical therapist Kim Teriele and Koen van Laar, policy advisor to the Kingdom Representative on Saba and St. Eustatius. In the meeting the healthcare providers explained that progress has been made in many areas of health care since the island became a public entity. They however expressed that it is important for ministries in the Netherlands to understand the unique situation of small islands. They further welcomed the position of the Minister of Health, Edith Schippers, during the Caribbean Netherlands week, which affords the islands the opportunity to propose alternatives for the announced cuts in health care.

mr. Donner and his party also met with the Executive Council of the Public Entity of Saba during a dinner meeting on Tuesday evening. Due to major delay connecting from Curacao to St. Maarten and onward to Saba, Mr. Donner regretfully could not meet with the Island Council of Saba. Island Council member Ishmael Levenstone of the SLP opposition faction, talked briefly with Donner shortly before his departure at the airport early Wednesday morning. The Vice-President of Council of State received a letter from Chairman of the Central Committee (faction leader of the WIPM party), Mr. Rolando Wilson.

On Wednesday March 20th Donner held talks on St. Eustatius with Island Governor, Gerald Berkel, the Executive and Island Council. Later in the afternoon a meeting was held at the Public Library with health care providers including, Drs. Awad, Director of the St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation, Act. Director of the St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation Gerard Berkel, Vice-President of Supervisory Board of the St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation, Minerva Pantophlet, physical therapist of StatiaSana ,Rianne van Rijswijk, the dentist Dr. Martin Mayumbo and Gerard van der Schaaf of Modentes, Sean Bennett of the Health Insurance Office (ZVK) and two representatives of the St. Eustatius Auxiliary Home.

Donner and his delegation departed to St. Maarten on Wednesday evening where he was scheduled to attend a Symposium: The use of Constitutional Court for the settlement of disputes in the Kingdom. On this trip the Vice-President of the Council also visited the Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

The Council of State serves as independent advisor to government regarding legislation and administration and is the highest general administrative judge of the Netherlands. The Council of State functions as advisor to lawmakers and government with the primary aim to contribute to preserving and strengthening the democratic constitutional state. In this context the Council of State aims to contribute to the unity, legitimacy and quality of public administration and the legal protection of the citizen.