Statement suggests authority to revoke license – De Weever ups the ante in medical center war

POSTED: 09/10/12 1:00 AM

St. Maarten – In a tersely worded press statement issued yesterday Public Health Minister Cornelius de Weever warned in veiled terms that he has the authority to revoke the license of the St. Maarten Medical Center. He also suggests that board members have developed tunnel vision. The minister stated that he will do all that is necessary to ensure that the country has a medical center that meets the highest standards. The statement seems to be a public reaction to the letter attorneys for the Medical Center sent to the Minister last week.
This is the unabridged version of the minister’s statement.
“As Minister charged with public health, it is my duty to see to it that all care institutions on St. Maarten not only adhere to the laws governing the health care sector, but to also ensure that the provisions made in those laws are not only enforced but can be justly enforced. Patients, nurses, specialists, staff, management and board members of care institutions must know their responsibilities and should have been provided with the means to effectively perform their duties or seek their rights.
No one care institute in the world is perfect. However, that doesn’t mean that together we cannot strive for perfection. It is not uncommon that at times members of boards develop tunnel vision that no longer allows them to see their faults even when presented with sound arguments thereto. Boards at times may have established practices that are either inconsistent with the rules governing their institutions or that are interpretable/questionable. Both situations are undesirable with regards to the provision of care. Rules must be clear, logical and adhered to. Non adherence to, misinterpretation or circumvention of laws, bylaws or own code of conduct is not conducive to any board especially if such relates to our country’s largest care institute.
The laws of our nation charges the Minister of Public Health with the issuance of various care related licenses, the amendment or revocation of previously issued ones. Furthermore, the Minister of Public Health can initiate and together with his colleague ministers, pass resolutions (laws) that may have far reaching consequences. Subsequently or independently, government may together with the Parliament of St. Maarten pass new ordinances or amend existing ones to ensure that the minister charged with public health can effectively and proactively ensure the well being of the citizens of St. Maarten and visitors alike. The extent in which the present laws allow government to intervene is far reaching and doesn’t exclude intervening on the highest levels of any care institution.
The situation at the SMMC is a very delicate matter and must be handled with the most care and as professional as possible. The Public Health Department (research/policy) the Inspectorate of Public Health (inspection/issuance of fines/set instructions) play a crucial role in the public health management field and in my capacity as Minister, I cannot simply ignore those two key departments when addressing matters as presently is the case. As stated earlier no institution is perfect, it is therefore necessary to continuously consult relevant stakeholders and professionals in the health care sector to strengthen and improve the governing structures of health care providers so they may improve their provision of care.
Rest assured that I will do all that is necessary within my capacity to ensure that St. Maarten has a medical center that is of the highest standards and that can meet the needs of the specialists, nurses, staff and most importantly the patients of the SMMC. Any actions taken by the Minister and/or government must be within the legal framework of our country and will not and shall not exclude the introduction of new legislation or amend existing laws or the amendment of existing licenses. Legislative processes take time considering the necessary consultations and checks and balances. However, in the event no other options are left, I shall proceed and expedite matters in the general interest of St. Maarten and my duty of care.”

Did you like this? Share it:
Statement suggests authority to revoke license - De Weever ups the ante in medical center war by

Comments are closed.