PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Health Emil Lee announced three main areas of Public Health development where Sint Maarten will take the lead as part of the collaboration established with the Public Health Ministers of Curacao and Aruba and State Secretary of Health of the Netherlands. Lead areas for Sint Maarten include Disaster & Crisis Management, Medical Waste Management and Data sharing and Benchmarking. In an administrative meeting that took place on May 16 in Bonaire, the parties were able to establish several areas of collaboration within the countries. The collaboration agreement between the countries for Public Health enables all countries to strengthen its own capacity and as a result be able to provide better support to each other in the various areas.
As it pertains to Disaster and Crisis Management, the scope of the collaboration includes assessing the plans for patient and casualty distribution in the Caribbean and Psychosocial care after crises & disasters. Within this scope, steps will be established in each country that ensure that reasonable prices for logistics such as hotels, transportation and medical tariffs are maintained in times of crisis and disasters.
Medical Waste Management poses a problem for Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten. A workgroup led by Sint Maarten will be committed to mapping out the issues surrounding medical waste. Most recent the St. Maarten Medical Center has been challenged with the issue. Sint Maarten is now also in the process of coming to a solution for the Dump Management.
The development of Health care data management systems will enable countries to start sharing and exchanging data for benchmarking purposes. Examples include the benchmarking of reinfection rates across the hospitals and reduction methods implemented in protocols. Sint Maarten will lead a workgroup to analyze the use of different systems.
Other topics of agreement include Implementation of the International Health Regulations, Health in all policies, Curative care; namely collaboration between hospitals, inspectorates and health insurers, and pharmaceuticals, Mental Health care and Medical Professionals; countries working together on a quality framework and exchange of doctors based on unified criteria.
The Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten was represented in the third administrative meeting by: Mr. Paul Blokhuis, State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport (the Netherlands), Mr. Danguillaume P. Oduber, Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport (Aruba), Mrs. M. Suzanne FC Camelia- Römer, Minister of Health, Environment and Nature (Curaçao) and Mr. Emil Lee, Minister for Health, Social Development and Labor (Sint Maarten)