MP Douglasss urges De Weever to use tact in hospital conflict

POSTED: 09/24/12 11:52 AM

St. Maarten – Opposition MP Dr. Ruth Douglasss called upon Public Health Minister Cornelius de Weever “to stop playing out this sensitive matter in public and handle this in a productive and professional manner that will ultimately produce positive results for the St. Maarten Medical Center.”

Douglass refers with the remark obviously to the conflict between the Minister and his inspectorate for public health with the SMMC.

Douglass, a member of the United People’s party, issued her statement yesterday. “The Permanent Committee of Parliament for Public Health, Social Development and Labour met with some of the main stakeholders so far.  The public exchange in the media continues with respect to the situation at our only medical facility on the Dutch side, and this is not creating an atmosphere of advancing safe and compassionate patient care.”

Douglass added that the matter needs “a speedy resolution” to restore confidence. The community and “the dedicated hard working staff of SMMC” are suffering, according to the MP, who is a general practitioner.

The situation is very tense because people are extremely concerned and some are literally fearful about going to SMMC.  The minister of public health should be more responsible and use tact,” Douglass stated.

The MP referred in her statement to a web site “that can help shape the future of patient-centered care:

Douglass further notes that the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a patient safety program in October 2004, “dedicated to bringing significant benefits to patients in countries rich and poor, developed and developing, in all corners of the globe.”

The patient safety program was established in response to resolution WHA55.18, adopted by the WHO’s 55th World Health Assembly in May 2002, which urged member states to pay the closest possible attention to patient safety and establish science-based systems for improving safety and the quality of care.  The resolution reflected and advanced various calls to action to make patient safety a public health priority, Douglass stated.

The MP also addressed the issue of social welfare. “The UP faction office and UP-MPs have received numerous complaints from welfare recipients about being removed from the social help lists.  We have to question why is this continuing?  I am calling on the Minister of Social Development Cornelius de Weever to stop playing games with the welfare of our people.”

Our people are living in difficult times and the challenges of high GEBE bills and food prices are seriously impacting the community and the people are demanding relief.  “Where is the relief for our pensioners?” Douglass stated.


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