Minister Ottley: Payments to Paramedics up to date, OZR cards will be accepted 

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Minister of VSA, Mr. Omar Ottley expresses “shock and disappointment” in response to the October 28 public notice of the Paramedic Association Sint Maarten (PASM). The notice of the association stated that OZR insured would have to pay out of pocket for therapies as of November 1. Minister Ottley would like to give peace of mind to OZR insured patients that their respective therapies will not have to be paid for out of pocket and will continue to be covered by their insurance.

In the week of October 18, Minister Ottley met with representatives of the PASM to address their grievances, to which reasonable agreements were made through positive dialogue and a commitment to work collectively on long-term solutions. The direct result of that meeting was the fast-tracked payment to the health care providers of the one (1) billing month that was outstanding, in the same week.

In coordination with SZV, the PASM has actively been receiving updates regarding the status billing and payments; current bills are being processed within the stipulated contractual agreements and are expected to be paid before the upcoming deadline next week.

I’m shocked and disappointed that the PASM would issue this notice, which gives a negative tone to the collective agreements we’ve made with the association and discussions we’ve had on long-term solutions. I’ve been grateful for the understanding of the association for the financial challenges of Government and willingness to be flexible and work together to continue providing care under these conditions. This has not been taken for granted, and this is why I’ve made all efforts to ensure that we can come to a consensus on realistic agreements and deliver on our promises. Although disappointed, I trust that we will continue the positive dialogue we’ve started, knowing that both parties share the same interests for safeguarding access to health care to the community.” – Mr. Omar Ottley, Minister of VSA