~End of year virtual tripartite meeting of Government – SMMC – SZV~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Monday December 6, Minister of VSA Omar Ottley chaired the virtual “Government – SMMC – SZV Tripartite” meeting, closing off the 2021 scheduled sessions. The purpose of the Tripartite meetings is to exchange information between the parties and discuss, in an early stage, those topics that impact the sustainability of the healthcare cost for Sint Maarten. The Tripartite meeting agenda included the Dutch Caribbean Hospital Alliance (DCHA) summit taking place on December 8, 9 and 10, in Sint Maarten. Minister Ottley will be opening the summit, welcoming participants from hospitals, government and social insurance companies from Curacao, Aruba, Sint Maarten, BES islands and the Netherlands. The summit is intended to discuss opportunities for further cooperation between the countries, as it pertains to increasing and continuity of health care access and programs.
The virtual Tripartite meeting included representatives of Social & Health Insurances (SZV), the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), the Ministries of VSA and Finance. Representatives discussed various ongoing projects including; the upcoming changes in legislation to increase the yearly ZV Wage Limit and the Pharmaceutical Cost Containment Program, both of which are on scheduled track. The legislation to increase the yearly ZV Wage Limit will be discussed in Parliament before the upcoming Christmas holiday.
The Ministry of VSA provided updates regarding the introduction of the local BIG registry for professions in individual health care. The intentions are to facilitate that accredited medical professionals from the region can work jointly with the accredited medical professionals from the Netherlands. This would support better access to skilled professionals and lower expenses, contributing to improving quality of care close to home, for a sustainable price. The progress regarding the construction of the new hospital was also highlighted, the first phase of development will become operational in the year 2024.
Moving forward, the intention is to proceed with the Tripartite meetings on a quarterly basis in 2022.