Department of Social Development launches Social Data Bank

On Wednesday June 11, 2014 Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius De Weever together with Reginald Willemsberg of Social & Health Insurances (SZV) and Bregje Boetekees of the White & Yellow Cross(WYC) signed a memorandum of understanding(MOU) establishing a partnership between the two entities and the Department of Social Development.
“The signing of this MOU shows the commitment of this ministry and myself to collecting data to substantiate and determine our policy direction(s) and our future financial obligations,” said Minister De Weever. “From the beginning this ministry has been working in a structural manner, and will continue to do so in the interest of Country St. Maarten.”
Bregje Boetekees, Operations Manager at the WYC stated that this is an important moment for health care stakeholders, as the need for policy to cover health care needs on the island through data is needed. “When I was approached by government regarding this project I agreed because this is about the future development of care products for Country St. Maarten,” said Boetekees.
By having a Social-data bank the department (Social Development) responsible for the social well-being of St. Maarten will be better equipped to address social realities, to identify trends and social vulnerabilities. In addition, a collaborative relationship between the Department of Social Development and the two entities will be established with regards to the collecting, registering and storing of relevant data on identified vulnerable groups within the society. SZV and the WYC will be able to provide government with relevant data for the development of (social) policies and legislation. In turn the two entities will be provided with relevant data for the development of SZV and WYC policies.
Reginald Willemsberg, Deputy Director of SZV mentioned that it is a historic moment for both SZV and the ministry, as we now know what is wanted, and it can be provided in a timely and structural manner in a specific format. “I would like to congratulate the ministry on this milestone, and hope other ministries and stakeholders will do the same,” said Reginald Willemsberg.