CAY HILL, St Maarten — St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) recently welcomed a new permanent Cardiologist Dr. Han Spierenburg to its Cardiology team. Dr. Spierenburg joins SMMC Cardiologist Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake bringing the number of permanent Cardiologists in-service to two.
Dr. Spierenburg received his education in Cardiology at the Sint Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands, after which he spent thirty (30) years working as a device Cardiologist, specializing in pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) at the Sint Franciscus Hospital in Schiedam/Rotterdam. During that period, he was active as chairman of the Medical Staff Board and later on of the Rijnmond Society of Cardiologists. As a member of the Quality Commission of the “Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie” (The Dutch Cardiology Association), he had the privilege of visiting many Cardiology Departments in hospitals across the Netherlands.
Upon reaching his pension age, he decided to defer his retirement and continue his professional career in the Dutch Caribbean. When asked about his reasons for choosing St. Maarten, Dr. Spierenburg replied “In the past I’ve visited Statia many times to combine teaching at the Medical School of St. Eustatius with one of my greatest hobbies: scuba diving. The climate, the adventure and the want for a new challenge brought us (my wife accompanied by our two dogs; a dachshund and a rottweiler) to the Friendly Island with the intention of becoming a resident and staying for a longer period”.
Since being in service at SMMC, Dr. Spierenburg has noted that primary prevention such as lifestyle advice (e.g, weight loss, physical activity and healthier eating) and noncompliance are challenging issues with Cardiology patients. Another challenge is off-island referrals for emergencies. “There is no ambulance to the Erasmus Medical Center at the end of the street for an urgent coronary intervention like I grew accustomed to in the Netherlands but instead patients here have to be air-lifted to Curacao or Colombia”.
“All in all, I have been welcomed by an enthusiastic team of competent healthcare professionals. Working closely with my colleague Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake, I intend to ensure care of our Cardiology patients and our pacemaker/ICD patients in particular. I am convinced of the fact that we are providing quality Cardiological medical care to our patients here on St. Maarten and the surrounding islands”, he concluded.
SMMC is proud to have Dr. Spierenburg in service and urges patients interested in a consultation to make an appointment by calling the Cardiology Department at: Tel: +(1-721) 543-1111 ext. 1304 or 1336. Appointments can be made from Monday – Friday between 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. SZV patients are requested to obtain a referral letter from their family doctor.