Independent Member of Parliament De Weever reacts to SMMC article

Independent Member of Parliament Cornelius De Weever is disappointed with the manner in which the Director of St. Maarten Medical Center Kees Klarenbeek addressed the issue of the current tariffs at the SMMC, which had been addressed by MP De Weever when he was Minister of Public Health since November 2011.
MP De Weever stated that the SMMC has been declared a central hospital just like SEHOS, whereby the tariffs were increased and included additional services which were not previously offered by SMMC such as cardiology. “It is important to note that the SMMC refused to participate in the tariff study until recently. A tariff study is currently being carried out by ACSION with the SMMC but it is being delayed because SMMC is not providing the financial information in a timely manner,” said MP De Weever.
The matter of the increase of the tariffs in November 2011 is well documented by ministerial decrees. MP De Weever is encouraging the SMMC to finalize the tariff study, which will justify any increase of any tariffs. MP De Weever is further questioning the 25 percent which is being claimed as below cost.
“If we are to move forward we need to be honest and fair, Mr. Klarenbeek should have done his research prior to misinforming the people of St. Maarten,” said MP De Weever. “Moreover, ‘The Daily Herald’ should have checked their files as they would have seen that this issue was already addressed.”
In an article written by the Cabinet of the Ministry of Public Health in December 2011 the following was explained. A team consisting of representatives of the Department of Public Health and Cabinet of the minister responsible for public health, conducted a small study to determine to what extent the provisions outlined in the Ordinance regulating the transition of country status (overgangsverordening) can be used to adopt the tariffs for medical care provided in the SEHOS to the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). In line with the results of the study, Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius de Weever signed the ministerial decree on SMMC tariffs on November 18, 2011.

The study concluded that:
1. SMMC and SEHOS were both regarded as equivalent hospitals by means of national decree
2. SEHOS was regarded as the national hospital of the former Netherlands Antilles
3. In accordance to art. 7 of the transitional ordinance, the minister have the mandate to designate the SMMC as the body which replaces SEHOS. This ultimately entails that the rates established for services provided in SEHOS can also be applied to the SMMC.

Former Minister of Public Health Minister De Weever in December 2011 encouraged: “SMMC can continue to expand the services and hire the necessary staff to do so. I believe that this will reduce the cost and inconvenience of having to travel abroad for these other medical services that are not available on St. Maarten.”