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SMMC ends year with staff party, reflection and look to the future

SMMC ends year with staff party, reflection and look to the future

WESTIN-On December 21st, 2013, the St. Maarten Medical Center had their end of year staff party at the Westin Resort. The director, Mr. Kees Klarenbeek addressed the employees with the end of year speech.

In his speech Kees reflected on the challenges and changes that took place during the year 2013. The employees were informed about the lifting of the supervision by the inspectorate of health and were informed as to the plans for the upcoming year. This end of year speech is copied below.



Kees Klarenbeek End of year speech 2013:

Firstly, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to everyone here tonight. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to share reflections of the past year and look to the future of our hospital together with you.

2013 has been a rough year with many challenges, changes and developments for us. There were several changes in the board of directors, there was a permanent tension between the hospital and the government, the inspectorate and the SZV.

In the beginning of the year, the hospital was still under intensified supervision by the inspectorate of health.

Although there was a formal collaboration set up between the healthcare foundations of Bonaire, Saba, Statia and Sint Maarten no formal steps for a follow up were taken.

Furthermore, we were aware about the fact that there is another hospital on the island at the French side who is delivering healthcare services. It was taken for granted that no formal collaboration between our hospital and the Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital was possible.

My term as chairman of the board of directors just started 4 and a half month ago. From the moment I started till this very moment, I feel very welcome in the Sint Maarten Medical Center and I want to thank you for that. But it is not about me. And it may sound strange but it is not about the hospital either. It is all about serving the healthcare needs of the population of Sint Maarten and surrounding islands. We as a hospital together with the government, the inspectorate, the SZV and all other health care providers have the responsibility to make this a reality.

For a hospital you need of course a building and medical equipment but first of all you need a dedicated staff. Our slogan "We care" is very suitable for expressing this position. 

Walt Disney once said ‘you can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful idea in the world, but it requires people to make the dream reality’. This is certainly the case for the Sint Maarten Medical Center. The reality is that without a great deal of commitment and support from all of us, we will not succeed in achieving our goals.

One of the most critical factors of any successful organization, in our case the hospital, the Sint Maarten Medical Center, is the people, the staff. The employees of the Sint Maarten Medical Center, supporting staff, nursing staff and medical, work together to best meet the needs of our patients. I am grateful for the time and energy you put into your work.


Employees and other attendees, during the dinner.


But, I also have a deep wish! There are still remaining areas where trust needs to be rebuilt. Yes I know, trust goes fast and comes slow. I ask every one, to lay aside long existing disputes and walk on together to a bright future for us as a hospital but most and for all for the best benefit of the people of Sint Maarten and surrounding islands.

I am convinced that a bright future lies ahead for the Sint Maarten Medical Center. Relationships with the government, parliament, inspectorate, SZV and the union have been improved already. We will continue doing so by accepting each role and respect each and every opinion. We as a hospital however will stand firm in our beliefs but also we will be aware of our position in the healthcare system of Sint Maarten and the East Caribbean.

We will also keep on working to take away the mentioned shortcomings in the inspectorate-report from 2012, doing so in collaboration with the inspectorate of health.

The elaboration of the existing agreement with the BES islands has been made for Saba and Statia and will be in effect in January 2014. A re-signing for extension of the collaboration is planned for mid next year of which the healthcare foundation of Bonaire will be then part of the collaboration as well.

Also in January a first step will be made in setting up a formal collaboration between the Louis-Constant Fleming hospital on the French side and the Sint Maarten Medical Center.

Together with the union we will set up a new Collective Labor Agreement whereby we understand each other’s position and respect those positions.

We are on track for getting the expansion for the hospital realized which is very much needed for serving the medical needs of the population. I thank everyone who supports those efforts to get this job done. There will be also an extension of medical specialties and an increase of the number of medical specialist to give the needed healthcare on the island instead of giving this care abroad.

As you see, there are a lot of challenges and changes ahead. And change is already in progress. This truly can be a night of celebration! I am very proud to announce tonight that based on a team effort by all the employees of the Sint Maarten Medical Center the inspectorate of health has come to the conclusion that necessary improvements are made or are planned in a sufficient way to give quality care in the Sint Maarten Medical Center. The inspectorate informed the hospital yesterday that they lifted the intensified supervision per direct. Thank you all for your efforts to make this major result possible.

We care, we care as an individual, and we care as a team for the hospital as part of the healthcare system for the population of Sint Maarten. Therefore we have to change our slogan to make it even fit better in: "We care together".

I am proud to be part of the team of employees of the Sint Maarten Medical Center and wish you and your relatives and your friends the best Christmas ever and a happy and healthy new year!

May God bless you and may God bless the Sint Maarten Medical Center.

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