PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – On Sunday, August 20, the United Sint Maarten Party (USP) candidate Gromyko Wilson, sounded the alarm on the intention of Government to pass the National Health Insurance (NHI) law by January 1, 2024. Wilson warned that this law may not be in the interest of the community.
Government is pushing to get the opinion of different stakeholders in the community, like the Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions (WICLU) and SER. However, in 2016 the SER had already given a negative advice on this matter.
According to reliable information reaching USP candidate Wilson, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs told other stakeholders in a meeting that the proposed NHI law was also sent to SER for advice. But how is this possible? Since April 30, 2023 the SER has had no board put in place by Ministerial Decree signed by the Governor of Sint Maarten.
Wilson is hoping that a representative of the Employers Association and the Employees Association become part of the new SER board. Their input is crucial for the SER and SZV boards.
Wilson has the following questions regarding NHI:
1) Is Parliament aware that the NHI is on its way to Parliament to be approved before elections?
2) What is the position on the WICLU on this Legislation, which will affect every worker on Sint Maarten?
3) Are private insurance companies aware that this legislation is on its way to Parliament to be approved before elections?
4) What is the position of employers/business owners on this legislation that is set to go into effect January 2024?
Wilson concluded, “There are too many open loops in the law that rushing it to Parliament can bring drastic consequences for the citizens.” He is of the opinion that the Government
should have open sessions like Town Hall meetings, and more marketing needs to be done to inform the general population on the pros and cons of this new law.
Rushing it to say the NA/UPP Government passed this law will cause a major problem in the Sint Maarten medical health care system.