PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten–On Wednesday, November 21st, Minister of VSA Emil Lee highlighted ongoing activities in relation to the staffing of the new hospital and the upcoming groundbreaking set for early next month. Lee stated that the new General Hospital of Sint Maarten is one of the key focus areas in the National Health Reform (
Approved building permit for construction:
The final phase leading up to the groundbreaking for the construction for the new hospital is positively underway. Lee acknowledged that the building permit process for the new general hospital has been expedited by the respective authorities at the Ministry of VROMI, the Fire Department and Police Department. The timely processing of the required documentation and approval of the building permit will ensure that the next phase, the construction of the new hospital, can commence in December as projected.
Environmental & Social Safety Management Plan:
One of the compliance aspects in relation to the World Bank funding, issued to the SMMC, is an environmental and safety plan (ESMP) regarding the construction work for the new hospital. SMMC is hosting a public consultation round where feedback can be given. This will take place on Monday November 26th, 2018 from 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm in the SMMC patio. The draft ESMP can be reviewed on the www.smmc.sx website from November 22nd, 2018 under the ‘World Bank / Procedures’ section.
100 new jobs to be created:
The new hospital will require an additional 100 new staff members, which will include technical and administrative functions in combination with the various medical professionals, including specialists. The construction of the new hospital is projected to be complete within the next four years. As part of the project plan which involves achieving JCI accreditation and updating medical equipment and technology, the current staff of the SMMC will undergo a series of trainings and development courses (CMEs) as they prepare for the opening.
In relation to the announcement by the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine regarding the offering of scholarships to residents, Lee stated; “this is a great project in terms of the timing, it really allows for people to go into the scholarship program and gear up for the jobs that will be available with the completion of the hospital.” The scholarship covers full-tuition to attend AUC. Interested residents who want to pursue medical studies should look into applying. “You must be a resident of St. Maarten and accepted to study at AUC. The academic scholarships cover all tuition costs as long as the recipients maintain satisfactory grades throughout their enrollment at AUC.”
The SMMC is currently recruiting for new staff and will attend the Care Caribbean Meet-up event in the Netherlands on November 24th where the aim is to recruit locals abroad in the medical field. The event is being hosted by WeConnect and the Asosiashion Mediko di Antias. The Minister of Plenipotentiary will represent Government at the event.
Prevention: Health Education Lectures on November 24th:
The SMMC will be hosting free health education lectures for the public on November 24th from 10:00 am – 16:00 pm. Lee stated; “the idea is to support the education of the population in general to make sure that they have the information in order to be more pro-active about their health, which is in line with the prevention aspect of NHR” The topics of the lectures include: Too much noise by the E.N.T. specialist, Family Matters by the psychiatrist, Painless labour by the Anesthesiologist, Why do I not get pregnant by the Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Asthma – myths & facts by the Pediatrician and Eczema by the Dermatologist.