New General Hospital will come with International Quality standards.



Philipsburg, Sint Maarten —  With the financing agreements for the new general hospital signed on Friday February 23rd, it is important for the general public to understand how health care will be improved. Although the new hospital is critical for the country, the agreement by all parties to work towards JCI or Joint Commission International Accreditation is also an important milestone accomplishment.

Acquiring the financing for the new hospital was one of the many phases outlined in the business plan that was developed by the Tripartite members; Ministry of VSA, SMMC and SZV. The business plan, is just that, a plan that looks at the entire hospital operation and financials and outlines the most critical areas for improvements and the required methods of action. There are many improvements that will be available by having a new and suitable facility. Therefore, before the facility is finalized; policies, protocols, and improvement to overall service delivery has been a critical part of the discussions.

“The list below is not a wish-list, but an action list. Items outlined that will be delivered throughout the various stages of development over the coming years, alongside the construction of the facility.” – Emil Lee, Minister VSA

Together with various stakeholders, including the Inspectorate of Health, SMMC will be addressing the most important patient concerns; availability of quality medical care and customer service. Below are some of the key actions and new services that the new hospital will offer:

  • Acquiring JCI accreditation: a commitment to an internationally recognized standard of patient safety. Establishing quality and care policies and procedures to meet international standards among which include hygiene compliance and feedback mechanisms for patient safety improvement
  • A minimum of 70 new vacancies for medical and support staff: additional staff to increase quality care and service
  • Continuing Education sessions for current SMMC staff and specialists: upgrading quality of care and expanding skillsets
  • New specialisms ‘at-home’: urology, neurology, orthopedics, hematology, ophthalmology and pulmonology. Reduced need for medical referrals abroad
  • On-site medivac heliport: increased efficiency for emergency cases
  • Increase in capacity management: from 66 to 110 beds in clusters of one and two beds per room. Maximum of 2 beds per room
  • Four state of the art operating theaters including one with (limited) heart intervention lab
  • A dedicated dialysis center
  • Telemedicine for diagnosis and treatment by specialists abroad
  • Rotating specialists
  • Improved parking facilities