SMMC in full support of new Hospital Project



CAY HILL – St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has been involved in the new hospital project from the beginning, including the development of the terms of reference and the evaluation of the different proposals received from the open tender process for a new general hospital.

Director of the SMMC Kees Klarenbeek stated, “Many staff members from the SMMC have been involved in the planning and development of the new hospital project and we are very comfortable that the proposed new hospital is the right hospital for St. Maarten. Additionally, as part of the evaluation team of the bids, we are comfortable that the quality specified by the company INSO either meets or exceeds the standards that we have established for the new general hospital. The staff of the SMMC have been promised a new hospital several times and we are looking forward to this finally becoming a reality.”

A new hospital is necessary as the existing hospital is too small, and no longer meets the functionality requirements of today’s vision on modern healthcare. Furthermore, the SMMC building is old and expensive to maintain.

The tripartite, a collaboration between VSA Ministry, SZV and SMMC, are working together to make it possible to develop hospital care on St. Maarten, including building a new hospital building. This partnership is a new approach, which benefits the citizens of St. Maarten and surrounding islands.

SMMC is the general hospital that guarantees high quality hospital care, based on patients’ needs, to residents and visitors of St. Maarten and her surrounding islands, close to home.

SMMC will offer quality care based on patients’ needs also called the “care demand model.”

Klarenbeek stated that the care demand is specifically researched and tailored with the contribution of the medical specialist of SMMC for the local situation on St. Maarten. Based on the outcomes of the research, new specialties will be introduced and action has to be taken to make it possible to let existing specialties grow in volume. New specialties such as neurology, urology, orthopedics and ophthalmology will be introduced. Expanding and increasing the services makes it possible to offer 90% of the hospital care close to home, and will reduce discomfort for patients and their relatives.

The conclusions of the research for the care demand, together with the local information from SMMC, shows clearly the high need of the population for dialyses treatments. In the very beginning of the process, it was decided that this service had to be increased step by step where it was not possible to wait till the new hospital would be available.

A gradual growth, to serve the needs of the population, from 9,000 treatments in 2016 to 36,000 treatments in 2030 was and is included in the new hospital plans. The first step to increase this service to 11,000 treatments per year is already realized. The second one, to increase further to 16,000 treatments per year, is in progress.

Klarenbeek mentioned again that SMMC is fully involved, amongst others, in the process of designing the functionality of the new hospital to guarantee that quality care will be delivered and the whole spectrum of care can be offered. This is a step by step process and will be fine-tuned in the near future.

Functionality includes medical equipment. SMMC has taken the responsibility to set up the lists with the required medical equipment and their functional specifications. Important requirements are that the medical equipment that will be offered, is of a top brand in the different care segments, and is compliant to all quality specifications.

SMMC will only accept medical equipment that will guarantee the delivery of quality care. To be ready to use this medical equipment, the provider is responsible to educate and train the future users.

“The process of getting a new hospital in place is a challenging one,” Klarenbeek said. New functionality, new medical equipment, new services and different logistics in a new environment will come up and should be carefully managed. This is recognized and therefore a transition plan is set up that will be further developed in the short-term. This intricate process is supported by the entire organization of the SMMC.

Chairman of the Supervisory Council of SMMC Robert-Jan James stated that SMMC takes its responsibility in this process, and is confident this process can be completed successfully. The development of a new hospital is necessary for the SMMC to continue to execute its mission, which is to provide high quality, accessible and affordable hospital care in the best interest of the patient, by closely cooperating with strategic partners, within a safe environment with motivated, qualified and competent staff.