SINT MAARTEN/COLOMBIA – On Thursday afternoon, February 9, Prime Minister William Marlin paid a visit to a number of patients from St. Maarten who are in Cali, Colombia. The Prime Minister himself is there for a medical checkup.
The Prime Minister dropped in on the patients who are staying at the Bela Nova Hotel, made up of a complex of four buildings totaling 88 rooms. Marlin said the patients were all full of praise for the facilities where they were staying, and also very impressed with the care at the medical facilities.
Some patients are there for several months already and others for a couple of weeks now. The Prime Minister was given a tour of the facilities by owner, Lina, who was very proud of the services she provides. She said she wanted to create a home environment for the patients and every door has a sign saying: “Welcome Home.”
To make her guests even more comfortable, she has equipped building 4, the newest of the units with 28 rooms on 6 floors, with a small gym containing three machines, and a room where patients can get a massage. On the bottom floor, patients get together for Zumba classes.
All apartments are equipped with a kitchen, one or two bedrooms, and a small living area. There are presently 40 plus patients staying at the Bela Nova complex alone.
Prime Minister Marlin said he was pleased to meet Lelia Brown, who is recovering from her bout with cancer.
He also contacted SZV about a patient, who has been in Cali for more than a year and according to her brother, who is there with her, she had been released for some time, but no arrangements have been made by SZV for her return to St. Maarten.
There was one patient who had surgery and complained about having to wait no less than 9 days before a nurse came to change the bandage.
Overall, the patients were in high spirits and were a happy group of Medical Tourists enjoying Cali while there. “It sort of gave me a glimpse of what St. Maarten could soon mean to others when our own new medical facilities have been built,” Marlin said.