Sickness Insurance, Pension, National Health Insurance, Proper Care at Medical Center and Mental Healthcare Priorities of DP Party Platform on Healthcare

The Democratic Part over the weekend has presented its 2014 Parliamentary Election Party Platform on the DP Healthcare vision. The platform highlights social security, pensions, the St. Maarten Medical Center and Mental Healthcare; items which are very much at play within the community of St. Maarten.
With regards to Social Security, the DP Party Platform mentioned that the government of St. Maarten, as advocated by the Democratic Party, has maintained the system of social security that encompasses sickness insurance and pensions; “Although this is a government responsibility, it is managed by the Social Security Administration (SZV). While this agency has come a long way, we must now direct our focus to cost effectiveness, prevention programs and health education,” mentioned the platform.
The Healthcare vision also mentions specifically pension reform; “Pension reform, while never a quick fix, is definitely a topic for further study. During the current government term, we have begun with pension system studies in order to determine the feasibility of providing affordable pensions in the future. The basic pension, as promised by the DP in 2010, has been increased annually. As part of the tax reform, we believe that an alignment with the pension amount should be pursued, granting pensioners a “tax-free” pension.”
Addressing the number of uninsured persons is also on the priority list for the healthcare platform, in particularly with regards to the National Health Insurance; “Much has gone into addressing the large number of uninsured persons. Originally, a National Health Insurance was seen as the solution to this phenomenon. During the past years much work has been done to develop a National Health Insurance (NHI). A transition of this magnitude however, cannot be taken lightly. The DP therefore prefers an introduction of the NHI in phases, making it a much more manageable process.”
The Party Platform also specifically mentions the providing of proper care at the St. Maarten Medical Center; “A multi annual plan for the SMMC should form the basis for any expansion or construction at this country’s sole medical facility, and should also include the expansion of specialist care, purchase of equipment, and the co-management of health care cost. The vision of the DP is that by 2020, most services for which residents must now travel abroad must be available on the island, which will also allow the medical facility to offer these services to the residents of the neighboring islands.
Finally, the Party Platform also specifically mentions the need to address mental healthcare for the country; “The state of the mental health of our population needs our urgent attention. The Mental Health Foundation with Government’s support has provided the first assistance to patients. However, we no longer can treat mental health in an uncoordinated manner. Stakeholders are putting the final touches to a Mental Health Policy Plan for St. Maarten. In this too, education and sensitization are factors that cannot be overlooked,” concluded the DP Party Platform on Healthcare.