PHILIPSBURG – In keeping with the Health Minister’s vision to improve the quality of health care provided, Minister Emil Lee is working with SZV to establish a care agreement with the hospitals and patient service companies that patients are referred to abroad.
Thus far, a care agreement has been finalized with Curaçao, one with the Dominican Republic is being finalized, and by the end of June, an agreement with Colombia should be complete. These care agreements help regulate the quality and costs of medical care for the people of St. Maarten.
Furthermore, the Ministry, in collaboration with key stakeholders, will also establish a committee that will focus on reviewing and evaluating the financials and quality of care of all medical referrals.
During the press briefing on Wednesday, May 18, Minister Lee also made mentioned that patients who are referred abroad often have to request an extension of their stay due to the fact that the quality of medical records provided to the specialists are of poor quality. This is frequently a result of how medical records are prepared for the transfer process, where PDF files are not legible or information is lacking.
Therefore, in order to reduce the number of patients requesting an extension for this reason, Coomeva will propose a form (check list) for all the medical information that SZV must provide in order to make this process more efficient. Additionally, sometimes delays occur because patients arrive with complications that are undiagnosed, which could also cause delay in treatment.
In a meeting that was held with SZV and Coomeva, the possibility of improving the information provided to the patients and families that are being transferred abroad was discussed. Coomeva will develop information material for SZV to provide to the patients before departing to Colombia.
This material includes basic information about Colombia and its cities, how to manage the way out from the Airport, how to contact the driver, key contact information of the Coomeva Team, what is the recommended, appropriate dress for every city depending on the weather, how is the traffic in every city, and more. Coomeva will send a photograph of the driver and the key contacts of the company just to make the patient and families feel more comfortable.