PHILIPSBURG:— A cancer patient almost lost her life about two months ago at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) when Dr. Luc Mercelina placed a port catheter in her lungs instead of her heart for chemotherapy treatment. According to information provided to SMN News, the patient was falling very ill after each chemo treatment done in St. Maarten and it was later discovered where the port catheter was located. The patient was airlifted to Curacao where she underwent surgery to remove the port catheter from her lungs and placing it in the vein of her heart. SMN News learned that the patient is in Curacao for the past two months now recuperating from her near death experience.
A port catheter is supposed to be placed on the chest connected to the main vein of the heart for cancer patients but somehow Dr. Mercelina who have been out of practice for few years placed the port in the vein leading to the patient lungs instead of her heart.
According to information reaching SMN News the woman had to be airlifted to Curacao to save her life.
This incident brings to question the competency of Dr. Luc Mercelina who some months ago returned to St. Maarten to work as a specialist surgeon at the St. Maarten Medical Center even though he has been out of practice for almost three years.
Another question the people of St. Maarten need to ask themselves is if St. Maarten need a big hospital building or if it needs qualified and up to par specialists to work on the island. Is having a huge hospital without proper specialists, and equipment improve Medicare on St. Maarten? Besides all of that what accountability would the management of SMMC take for the pain and suffering caused to the patient and would the Minister of Health who went along with SMMC to rehire Dr. Luc Mercelina be held liable knowing that Dr. Luc Mercelina is not up to date with his medical practice.
Another question that comes to mind what role did USZV played in this medical referral case and why has it been pushed under the proverbial carpet. Is the department of Inspectorate doing their jobs when it comes to controlling health care on St. Maarten or are they all politically influenced at the expense of the people?
SMN News tried reaching the management of SMMC Cees Klarenbeek and Dr. Holiday for a comment on this case but they could not be reached on Wednesday and Thursday morning.