The people of Sint Maarten are going through some challenging times, especially if you focus on topics in our community like housing, education, health, health care, unemployment and poverty. Our sitting government had in the past 4 years one agenda point in their governing program and that was to make sure that this government will stay alive for 4 years.
Unfortunately this government is and was completely disconnected from the reality of our people and society. As a doctor having daily contact on a one on one base with my patients I can inform you that the deterioration of our society in all its dimensions has now reached to a level of directly affecting the health of our individual citizens. I am constantly asking myself what more has to manifest in our community for this government to understand that it is now not the time anymore for more analytic expensive research reports from consultants that are actually abusing our national budget and costly surveys to confirm what actually the government of Sint Maarten should know already.
With astonishment I was recently informed about a new Health Survey that is in the pipeline to be conducted to gather more information about an already well known reality of the suffering and misery of the people of this Country. I can already inform to you that the reality of the outcome of this new health survey for Country Sint Maarten will not only shock and embarrass this current government even more; but will proof to the people that this government was not there for the people of this Country in the past governing period.
We do not need more research and surveys about the health status of the people of our Country. We need a hands-on pragmatic government with vision and leadership to just execute an action plan that will lead to tangible alleviating solutions for the suffering of the vulnerable people of Sint Maarten. I reiterate that more surveys will not solve the health issues, health challenges, and suffering of the people of this Country.
Without awaiting the outcome of this upcoming unnecessary costly health survey, I will give you free of charge some figures that will give you a good reality check of the socio-economic and health status of the people this Country:
-The poverty rate in this Country is 29% (one out of each three households live on less than $ 850 USD per month).
-42% of our populace does not have a finalized secondary school education in our Country.
-6000 families are on a waiting list for decent housing.
-The realistic unemployment rate in this Country is 17%.
When it comes to the alarming reality of the Health status of the population of Sint Maarten the following:
67% of the populace is suffering from obesity (2 out of each 3 citizens) , the prevalence of Diabetes (sugar disease) is 15% (average 1 out of each 6 citizens).
There are 2 surgical interventions/amputations per week as a complication of diabetic disease.
The prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure) is 31% (average one out of each 3 citizen has high blood pressure). We have 78 individuals that are being dialyzed (average 1 dialysis patient per 769 inhabitants).
And last but not least: 25% of our populace does not have a health insurance.
I can guarantee you that the URSM under my leadership will take immediate action based on the above mentioned alarming statistics.
The URSM counts on your mandate!