St. Maarten delegation to attend Health Care Conference in Aruba

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Stethoscope on a printed sheet of paper

Philipsburg, St. Maarten – Staff members from the Ministry of Public Health Social Development & Labor along with stakeholders St. Maarten Medical Center, Social and Health Insurances (SZV), Mental Health Foundation, St. Maarten Laboratory Services and the Council for Public Health will be attending the first Kingdom Health Care Conference in Aruba from June 1-June 4, 2015.

The purpose of this conference is to establish collaboration in health care and public health in the Dutch Kingdom between the autonomous countries Curacao, Aruba, St. Maarten and The Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch municipalities Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Sab. The total population of the six islands is approximately 340.000, which is considered a “small scale economy”.

As a consequence of this, each of the islands encounter similar difficulties in the provision of good quality healthcare that’s accessible and affordable to all its citizens. During the conference, the St. Maarten delegation will work towards increasing the availability of medical specialists, reviewing and streamlining of legislation, improving supervision/enforcement in healthcare, strengthening hospital care and reducing the large amount of medical referrals abroad.

The collaboration between the countries hopes to achieve the following strategic goals. Improve quality of health care; improve effectivity and accessibility of health care; establish referral centers (of excellence) on the different islands; improve efficiency and lower costs of health care. For this, a public health network between the different countries within the Kingdom will need to be established and knowledge, experience and resources will need to be shared.

At the completion of the conference the intention is to have memorandums of understanding (MOU’s) signed between all partnering countries.