Reaction to “fishy” statement about medical tourism – American Clinic CEO Hess challenges George ScotPOSTED: 09/28/12 12:38 PM
GREAT BAY – American Clinic CEO Samuel Hess is challenging St. Maarten Medical Center director Dr. George Scot to accept government representatives on his supervisory board and to establish a citizens’ advisory panel. Hess issued the challenge in a statement to this newspaper, wherein he reacts to Scot’s statement that the development of medical tourism in St. Maarten is “fishy.”
“We are the American Clinic. We are the group of physicians and business people that are planning to open a premier medical center on St. Maarten,” Hess stated. “It will be a state of the art medical center with the latest technology and top physicians to rival any healthcare facility anywhere in the world. For two years, we have been in development and have worked closely with the government and physicians on the island and we have brought dozens of specialists to the island who are eager to start practicing with us. Our clear, stated intent is to provide excellent specialist care for the St. Maarten residents covered by the SZV and private insurance when referred by their primary care physicians and establish St. Maarten as one of the top medical tourism destinations in the world.”
The specialists the American Clinic will bring will be from fields of medicine that are currently not represented on the island. “That removes the need to travel off island for consultations and treatments. This will save a tremendous amount of money for the SZV, and lessen the personal cost of worry and inconvenience of having to travel to access specialists and be able to recover at home, with family and friends nearby. It will also provide many jobs for locals and bring in significant tourism revenue. We have been open and forthright with all of our plans and discussions.”
Hess said that his company initially worked together with Scot on the development of its plans for St. Maarten. “He was present in meetings with the government. We held meetings with him at the SMMC and at other venues, including a trip he took to Florida to tour our facilities.
We even wrote an MOU (memorandum of understanding – ed.) outlining in detail our goals, including working with the SZV and the SMMC to provide specialist care on a referral basis, improve the quality of care, and utilize services and provide patients and income to the SMMC.
For this reason we are shocked to hear that Dr. Scot thinks medical tourism is “fishy” simply because the project is being developed at the same time he is planning an expansion of the SMMC. He knew about the project in detail from the beginning and he himself recently made a proposal to bring medical tourism to the island.”
“Dr. Scot made it clear that he would not sign or help us until he got what he wanted from the government,” Hess stated. “So, for the past year we could have been on St. Maarten, in temporary quarters, possibly preventing worsening disease and even death. Instead, because of what we felt were self serving motives, we were prevented from doing so. We are here to compliment, not to compete with the SMMC. We would like to issue a challenge to Dr. Scot: We are willing and plan to have representatives from Government on our committees and advisory board and will have a citizens’ advisory panel to openly discuss issues and concerns from the community we serve. Will you do the same?”