SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Monday May 7th, the Mental Health Foundation and Social & Health Insurances SZV signed a budget agreement for the years 2019 and 2020. The budget agreement provides the MHF with SZV funding that would cover the actual costs of services provided to SZV insured patients.

The agreement includes quality indicators for the services provided by the MHF. Both parties are content with the outcome of the agreement, which benefits clients by improving the quality of services. The agreement was signed by Dr. Felix Holiday, President of the board of MHF, Erika van de Horst, Secretary of the board of MHF, and Glen A. Carty Director of SZV.

Both SZV and the MHF have been working together for many years to provide and maintain quality care for its clients. In the past, the MHF would encounter financial constraints, as actual costs incurred would be higher than projected budgets. SZV recognizes the importance of adequate mental health care service for residents and it is insured. As social and health insurance provider, SZV’s interest is to work together with local health care service providers in finding solutions to maintain access to quality medical care.

The agreement signing comes at an opportune moment for the MHF, which is also celebrating Nurses week. The hardworking nurses and support staff of the MHF will now be able to look forward to a long overdue salary adjustment. For SZV, the signing of the agreement is timely, in light of SZV’s May health awareness month theme: Mental Health. The MHF is an important stakeholder in providing the necessary care for residents with mental health care needs.

Quality indicators and operations will be reviewed by the MHF and SZV on an annual basis, the budget allocation review will take place every two years. The MHF presently employs 43 staff members. In support of the established quality indicators and nursing staff, the MHF is confident that the Ministry of VSA will soon approve permits for the urgently needed psychiatrist for St. Maarten.

Source: Souliga Newsday