SMMC provides World Bank with grant project update

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CAYHILL, Sint Maarten — Management of St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) provided World Bank representatives with a project update regarding the USD 25 million grant agreement that was signed last year. In a series of meetings that took place this week at SMMC, hospital management informed the World Bank on the status of planning for the essential upgrades to the current hospital, namely the installation of fire alarm system which is projected to begin in mid-February.

In August 2018, SMMC signed an agreement to receive a USD 25 million grant from the St. Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund that is funded by The Netherlands and managed by the World Bank.

The grant allows SMMC to improve services of the current hospital and made it possible to upgrade the design of the new hospital to withstand category 5+ hurricanes. The overall objective is to improve the preparedness and capacity of hospital services in St. Maarten.

The structure of the existing hospital was damaged and weakened by Hurricane Irma. As a result, priority has been given to essential upgrades to the current hospital which will ensure continuity of services and improve the hospital’s preparedness and capacity for future extreme weather conditions, particularly during the period that the new hospital will be built.

SMMC General Director, Kees Klarenbeek, stated: “The meetings with the World Bank were fruitful and we were happy to hear positive feedback from the World Bank delegation about our progress and milestones met so far”.

World Bank Senior Operations Officer, Carolyn Shelton, stated: “We are pleased with the progress to date. With the recent establishment of the Quality and Safety Department, development of checklists for standard procedures and updating of evidence-based clinical guidelines, SMMC is taking important steps to work towards achieving Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, which focuses on patient safety and quality of health care, among other areas, and ensures high quality medical care. This means that SMMC is taking this opportunity to not only have a new facility, but to expand the scope of services provided, and put in place mechanisms to increase the quality and outcomes of hospital services”.

While the new hospital will provide a state of the art medical complex, final delivery of the new hospital will take place several years from now. With the upgrades to the existing facility, patients will not have to wait until the new facility is completed and can benefit from an expanded scope of services now. These investments to the current building compared to the reduction in the costs of overseas medical referrals are absolutely worth the effort.

SMMC has launched a special unit that will oversee all procurement in relation to the projects funded by the grant agreement- called the “Project Management Unit (PMU)” – which will keep interested companies updated an informed when the projects come up for tender and send them the tender documents directly.

For project information, interested companies can check the ‘Renovation and Reconstruction’ section on SMMC’s website: http://smmc.sx/Renovation-Reconstruction/Projects.

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