National Alliance supports expansion medical center

POSTED: 07/21/14 1:56 PM

Manifesto: “State of the art equipment and the best physicians”

St. Maarten – The National Alliance does not support the construction of a new hospital, it appears from the health and wellness chapter of the parties political manifesto. The NA prefers “to collaborate with stakeholders including the board, management and the healthcare professionals at the SMMC to finalize plans to expand the existing medical center to accommodate more patients and provide additional onsite services based on the needs of the community and surrounding islands.”

The party envisions “state of the art operating rooms, a mid-level intensive care unit and a larger and better equipped emergency room.”

The National Alliance thereby positions itself diametrically opposite Theo Heyliger’s United People’s party (UP) that is promising voters a brand new medical center on campaign billboards. The NA-position also tallies with the vision of DP-Public Health Minister Cornelius de Weever who prefers a comprehensive approach and the upgrading of medical care over the construction of a new building.

The first point on the NA’s health and wellness agenda is to increase the tariffs the hospital receives from insurance companies – especially from SZV – to develop and improve services. “This will increase the hospital’s bottom line, make it possible to pay its current bills and allow the foundation to properly plan for expansion.”

Under those conditions, the NA reasons, the hospital will be able to attract the best physicians and other medical personnel by offering them competitive salaries. It would also allow the hospital to offer better wages to the current staff.

Part of the NA’s approach will be a focus on state of the art equipment for the highest risk patients. This includes, according to the manifesto, an MRI scanner and an upgraded mammogram machine.

Furthermore, the NA wants to put procedures in place for the prevention and early detection of HPV (human papillomavirus), HIV and breast and prostate cancer. Establishing a standard prenatal care program is also one of the party’s intentions.

The National Alliance wants to invest in a campaign to bring home local medical professionals who are currently working in other countries. Promoting medical tourism would also increase services to the local population, the manifesto states.

The National Alliance supports the establishment of the National Health Care Plan that would make medical coverage for all residents mandatory.

Other campaign issues are increased maternity leave (from 6 to 10 weeks), the implementation of 2 weeks of paternity leave and increased funding for mental health and drug abuse facilities and for outpatient services.

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