Unhappy with reporting about medical center – Minister De Weever tears up copy of Today newspaper

POSTED: 11/22/12 1:47 PM

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar Public Health Minister Cornelius de Weever went out of his way during yesterday’s press briefing to express his opinion about Today’s reporting about the dispute between the St. Maarten Medical Center and the ministry’s inspectorate: he tore up a copy of our newspaper in front of the cameras and in front of journalists.

When it was the minister’s turn to speak he started by greeting “some of the media.” He then said that his address was about ‘getting something off my chest.”

“In general I respect the freedom of the press, but I respect objective journalism even more. However, with the headlines of the Today tabloid that is being used to mislead people I want to clear the air about the medical center,” the minister said while he theatrically tore up a copy of this newspaper.

“Not because the SMMC needs to know but because the people need to know,” Minister de Weever continued. “It is very clear that they are busy with the wrong things. I have never given any instructions to the inspectorate. The inspectorate has a job to do and that is what they are supposed to do. The same way they did it for the general practitioners. They investigated them, did a basic study, and now they are also busy for other medical institutions. They don’t need any directions to do their job. That is what they get paid to do.”

The next topic the minister addressed was the American Clinic – the initiative by Samuel Hess to establish a health center for medical tourism in Simpson Bay. “No licenses have been issued to the American Clinic,” the minister said. If there is any semblance of conflict of interest, they are looking in the wrong place.”

Thirdly the minister turned to the Memorandum of Understanding. He issued copies of the first page of a Memorandum of Understanding “that the SMMC, the government and the American clinic were going to sign. It clearly indicates that we were going to work together,” the minister said. “Now it is alleged that the SMMC distanced itself from the MOU because a particular consultant bureau was not going to be used. I believe that is for them to answer and not for me. I will provide you with copies of the first page of the MOU and the letters of intent because I believe the people have the right to know.”

After that last statement the minister left the press briefing.

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Comments (1)


  1. wooooshhhhhh says:

    very childish i must ad