Cayhill- The St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is collaborating with Saba Healthcare Foundation and the St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation for continued and improved healthcare for the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. Representatives of the foundations met on Monday, December 16, 2013.
Over the last two months, the collaborating parties have agreed on key initiatives to better serve the populations of the islands. One of these initiatives is setting strategies for the hiring of medical professionals.
It is necessary, for the growing population, to increase the number of medical specialists working at the SMMC. As our resources grow in this area, the islands of Saba and St. Eustatius can too benefit from the medical services the specialists will provide.
Already, a gynecologist/obstetrician from the SMMC goes to Saba and Statia regularly to provide medical care to the women there. In January of the upcoming year, this overseas medical service will continue with an oncologist from the SMMC who will treat patients in Saba.
Sharing of personnel from either organization in this collaboration are not limited to medical specialists but also in other areas such as hygiene, quality care and maintenance of facilities and medical equipment.
Education resources are another element of this collaboration that will continue within the islands. The SMMC education department is currently doing a good job with accelerated courses for nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses on the three islands. Educational training for non-nursing staff will also be done together with Saba and Statia.
This collaboration between the foundations was already in place but was not implemented in some action areas. It is now named “We Care Together”, stemming from the slogan of the SMMC, “We Care!” The SMMC recognizes its role as the primary center for support care for the residents of Saba and Statia. While the SMMC, Saba and Statia health care foundations are seeking to meet the basic health needs of their population, the agreement will open avenues and strengthen efforts to further develop plans for sustainable health care for the Dutch islands.
In photo: SMMC Interim HR Manager, Bonnie Dekker and Project Officer, Hester Versleyen; Dr. Joka Blaauboer, Director of the Saba Healthcare Foundation; Dr. Gerard Berkel, Director of the Queen Beatrix Hospital; SMMC General Surgeon, Dr. Felix Holiday; Concern Controller, David Ignacio and Director Kees Klarenbeek.