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Minister De Weever assures St. Maarten Medical Center issue has his full attention

MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2013

PHILIPSBURG–Health Minister Cornelius de Weever said on Sunday that the serious governance issues at the St. Maarten Medical Centre (SMMC), which resulted in the end of the specialist care cooperation with two Amsterdam hospitals has his “full attention.”

De Weever’s comments were in reaction to the statements made by Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk on the issue in a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, which was published by The Daily Herald on Saturday. The letter, also sent on behalf of Minister of Public Health, Well-being and Sports Edith Schippers, was a response to the agreements that the four Parliaments in the Kingdom made during their meetings in The Hague in March this year.

De Weever said in a press release on Sunday evening that “Great efforts have been and are still continuously being made by both my Ministry and the Inspectorate of Health to address these issues. These efforts have resulted in the placement by the Health Inspectorate of SMMC under intensified supervision and the subsequent issuance of 14 orders by the Health Inspectorate to SMMC, to address amongst others several governance matters, or else pay significant fines.”

De Weever said one of these measures was the much discussed measure to either terminate the contract with former Board Chairman Dr. George Scot, or terminate the contract with his consultancy firm ANG Consulting N.V. “Although SMMC is still opposing all the imposed measures through litigation, it has meanwhile complied with some of them. There has consequently been some improvement. There is, however, still much work to do and I can only hope that with the appointment of a new interim director of SMMC recently the era of constant opposition and litigation by SMMC will be replaced with the much needed collaboration, dialogue and decisive actions, so that our combined efforts can promptly resolve the existing issues.”

The minister said the cooperation with AMC and VUmc is important for both

St. Maarten and our sister islands Saba and St. Eustatius. Conditions must be set for the prompt realization thereof.

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