Minister of Public Health disappointed SMMC allowing itself to be guided by political interference

In a meeting held on Thursday, June 19th, between parties and stakeholders of the country’s hospital, the director of the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) told the Prime Minister and the Public Health Minister that the interference of “politicians” in the plans for the hospital has created a confusing situation resulting in the reluctance of SMMC to commit to any solution for the hospital at this time.
This revealing statement was made in the presence of representatives of both the APS and the SZV, the two stakeholders with whom the SMMC has been negotiating to finance the expansion of the hospital.
This meeting with the SMMC came about only upon government’s insistence and the blatant refusal by the Board of the SMMC to meet with the Council of Ministers.
The Minister responsible for Public Health has been negotiating with the SMMC and the APS and SZV after determining that the preferred option of a low percentage interest loan via government was not possible.
The Minister of Public Health is totally disappointed that the SMMC is allowing itself to be guided in what it itself terms as political interference, but at the same time seems to be a willing participant in the same interference. The Minister has refrained until now from subjecting the medical institution again to negative publicity since the public pounding several months ago.
The lack of cooperation from SMMC has been however frustrating to say the least. It now begs the question on what agenda the SMMC is perusing by currently stonewalling all attempts to get to the start of the plans for the (new ) hospital?
At this juncture however, there is no recourse but to publicly call on the hospital’s board and management to work diligently with the government of St. Maarten to provide relief to staff and patients of the hospital by consenting to the urgent repairs as a first step towards the hospital’s new plans.
The management and board of the SMMC, for yet unknown reasons, have opted not to negotiate with the government and government entities but seems determined to go outside of the regular government parameters. This as recent history had shown eventually puts the country in a bind.
SMMC is yet to inform the government of St. Maarten and its stakeholders of the plans which this institution’s management has seemingly endorsed.
The SMMC is grabbing at several straws regarding possible financing structures and refuses therefore to consider the current options on the table, which will benefit the country as well.
The government is awaiting with much interest the actions by the SMMC in collaboration with the SZV and the APS as a result of the June 19th meeting.