PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – It is unacceptable for a visiting specialist, who benefits for the needs of St. Maarten patients, to treat those patients like they are less than human, says United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament Tamara Leonard.
The MP is outraged about reports she has received from patients who had appointments with visiting specialist Dr. Paul de Windt of Curacao. Patients have to assemble at his office from “ungodly hours” and do not have a guarantee that they will indeed see the good doctor, Leonard said.
“I have heard directly from some of our senior citizens about his lack of proper bedside manners and how he has made them wait for hours only to tell them to come back another day, because he’s not seeing other patients. This apparently happens even if those patients have appointments for that day and have already had to wait for weeks to see him. This simply unacceptable,” said the MP.
Leonard has been in contact with Social and Health Insurance SZV official to ascertain what can be done to use specialists on the French side to care of St. Maarten’s patients. She was informed that SZV is working with French-side specialists on the acceptance of the SZV card.
Within the medical and insurance community, efforts are ongoing to attract new and more specialists to permanently serve St. Maarten residents on island, instead of them having to go aboard or having to wait for extended period for a specialist to visit from aboard. Referrals aboard cost SZV some NAf 30 million annually.
“The efforts of SZV are commendable. I want to urge them to be quick about finding a solution for our patients, especially our elderly. This situation with Dr. De Windt or any other doctor who believe treating our people less than human must not continue,” Leonard said.