St. Maarten Prime Minister meets with Colombian consul

POSTED: 02/19/13 12:20 PM


The Colombian Consul (l) in the meeting with (l.t.r.) Udo Aron, Jorien Wuite, Minister de Weever and Prime Minister Wescot-Williams. Photo Cabinet Prime Minister.

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams met with the consul of Colombia Alfonso de Jesus Velez Rivas at the A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall on Friday, together with the Minister of Public Health, Labor and Social Affairs Cornelius De Weever, his Secretary General Jorien Wuite, Udo Aron, Head of Immigration and Border Control, the PM’s policy advisor Emilia Thomas, and Minister De Weever’s policy advisor Suzanne Aafjes. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the need to strengthen ties with Colombia in the field of consular services for medical referrals from St. Maarten, which are currently considered a priority on the agenda for the American consulate in Curacao.

Another issue was the birth of a child by an SZV-insured in Colombia, considering the difficulty for the mother to register her newborn. A birth certificate is needed to register the child in St. Maarten and for the SZV to formalize its insurance.

Haitian nationals that are insured under SZV and that have to be referred to Colombia need a visa. The process to arrange their visa from here with the Colombian consul in Curacao is cumbersome; Haitians have to travel to Curacao to the consul to arrange the visa with the risk of being turned down.

Another issue centered on the patients that passed away and that SZV has to deal with. It takes a long time before the body can be released after a patient dies due to an accident or a violent crime in Colombia, where the Medicina Forensic has to do an investigation. Because of this delay, and considering that the body may not be kept properly in Colombia, the state of the body when it reaches St. Maarten may not be appropriate for viewing.

Colombia is also interested in exporting vegetables, meat and fruits to St. Maarten. This endeavor is welcomed though they require the involvement of the Ministries of Public Health and Economic Affairs.

Social security for independent workers was also discussed. Minister De Weever broached this matter in view of National Health Insurance, taking these persons into consideration. Parties agreed that the consul will share information on his country’s health care system.

Human trafficking and programs to campaign against it were also discussed. The Justice Ministry representative informed the PM and the consul that embassy staff has undergone training in this field.

Upgrading the medical professional cooperation between the two countries was also discussed, as were visa regulations for Colombians, which this far has been quite flexible. This matter will be discussed on the Kingdom level with St. Maarten providing a manual that spells out requirements for Colombians.


Did you like this? Share it:
St. Maarten Prime Minister meets with Colombian consul by

Comments are closed.