Legal clarity for SMMC and Inspectorate



CAYHILL, Sint Maarten — On Monday, April 24, 2017 a court case begins between St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and the Inspectorate of Public Health (IVSA) regarding differences of opinions on the meaning of certain stipulations in (outdated) legislation.

Although court cases are often considered negative, this court case has the main objective of providing clarity and to create an impartial judgment on topics where SMMC and the Inspectorate have different interpretations of the laws and the objectives of the laws. SMMC intends to create a mutual understanding, and having a court ruling should give both parties much needed clarity, which seems to be essential for the working relationship of the hospital and the Inspectorate. This court case should establish clearer legal standards for both parties and provide legal certainty for the future as well.

The overarching goal of all parties is to work in the best interest of the community and provide quality care to the people. High quality healthcare is the ambition and crucial for the country of Sint Maarten and the people that depend on it. All and every healthcare-related institution in Sint Maarten must abide by the related laws of the country, and to maintain a stable working relationship there must be a common understanding of what the laws represent regarding procedures, responsibilities and authorities. Without clarity important issues will be left up to individual interpretation. However, objectivity can be achieved through formal decisions such as a court ruling.

The St. Maarten Medical Center considers it important to find a healthy balance between the Inspectorate and the hospital. Each has their own role within the healthcare system of Sint Maarten, with consideration that standards remain appropriate and clear. Sint Maarten is in a stage of improvement within the entire healthcare system on the island.

Legislations and policies that stifle healthy growth must be acted upon to ensure that the best interest of the public is kept. The safety, satisfaction and health of the people in our care require clear legislations and an assurance that the laws of Sint Maarten are abided by correctly. Patient and employee safety and confidentiality are essential. Through this court case the focus can be placed on setting clear lines with which all parties can move forward.