PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor Emil Lee recently returned from a work visit to Curaçao, where he met with new incoming Minister of Health, Environment and Nature, Zita Jesus-Leito.
“Since taking office in 2015, the Minister of Health from Aruba, Curaçao, and myself have developed a good working relationship. Therefore, while Minister Jesus-Leito was busy planning for her term in office, I wanted to ensure that cooperation with St. Maarten remained a priority,” stated Minister Lee at Wednesday’s press briefing.
During the courtesy visit, Minister Jesus-Leito expressed her willingness to continue cooperation particularly when it comes to sharing resources for vector control in terms of “how we are dealing with Zika; purchasing abroad, for example, when it comes to medical referrals, trying to lump our purchases together to get better prices; national health insurance in terms sharing lessons learnt; and containing costs in relation to prescription drugs,” Lee said.
In addition, the Ministers discussed the new hospital developments in Curaçao.
“Interestingly, even with the cost overruns, which was caused by moving their location multiple times and the delays, the preliminary numbers for Curaçao’s new hospital are still showing that the price we have received for St. Maarten’s proposed hospital is very competitive. As the appeal process is still ongoing, I want the citizens to rest assured that the winning bid was indeed the right project for the right price, and to illustrate this additional regional research is being done,” stated Minister Lee.