Aruba, Curaçao, The Netherlands and Sint Maarten work together for better healthcare in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

Four countries want to be better prepared for future crises like Hurricane Irma

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:—Medical aid must be optimal if the Caribbean part of the Kingdom is affected in the future by a crisis or disaster such as Hurricane Irma. So that victims receive relief and good quality medical care as quickly and optimally as possible, the care for existing patients and vulnerable groups is not compromised, medicines are in stock and medical care workers are well trained and practice regularly. Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten will work together more intensively to achieve this. Under the chairmanship of Sint Maarten, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) will map out the countries where extra efforts are needed. That must be completed by the end of 2018.

Four health ministers
This is one of the agreements that the four government ministers of the Kingdom have agreed in Willemstad today. Minister Oduber (Aruba), Minister Camelia-Römer (Curaçao), State Secretary Blokhuis (Netherlands) and Minister Lee (Sint Maarten) met at a four-year conference on – supporting each other in – further improving the quality of health care, for example through accreditation of hospital care. This includes harmonization with the local regulations on the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization. Other agreements made concern prevention programs, cooperation between hospitals, medicines, education of health care professionals and data exchange.

Campaigns reduce smoking, overweight, problematic alcohol use
For example, there will be special cooperation between the four countries in the areas of healthy living, sport and exercise. For example, the reduction of smoking, overweight and problematic alcohol use will enable Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten – as much as possible in cooperation – to develop information campaigns. In doing so, specific attention must be paid to what works best in the different countries. In the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, on average, fewer people smoke than in the Netherlands. Women in the Caribbean region smoke and drink much less than men, but are more often overweight (obese) and exercise less.

Better care for Caribbean children part Kingdom

The four countries are going to lift the care for children and young people who need it together to a higher level. Extra attention will be paid to combating child abuse and preventing and supporting unintentional (teenage) pregnancies. Priority will be given to improving mental health care for children and adolescents, social emotional care, addiction care and care for children and young people with disabilities. Aruba and Curaçao take the lead in these areas.

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Source: St. Martin News Network