PHILIPSBURG:— The court of First Instance deemed the case SZV filed against the Inspectorate VSA inadmissible. The verdict was handed down on May 8th, 2007.
The case filed by SZV regards an employee of SZV identified by patients as Nataschia Lijkwan.
In October 2016, SMN News published an article whereby the employee of SZV was staying at the Renaissance Resort in Curacao while being there as a patient on medical referral.
At the time patients from St. Maarten who were also in Curacao for treatment contacted SMN News, stating that they were also in Curacao for medical treatment and they were unable to get their daily allowances and other benefits from SZV, while one of its employees was receiving special treatment and staying at Renaissance Resort.
SMN News conducted its investigation and found that the patients that contacted SMN News had given accurate information.
Based on SMN News research it showed that the employee stayed at Renaissance for two weeks while she traveled with her young daughter who was on mid- term vacation.
Upon publishing that article SMN News contacted the Inspectorate and asked for an investigation to be conducted into the referral by SZV because the Inspectorate, the Minister of VSA and the SZV director had stated in a press release that the Inspectorate was scheduled to conduct an audit on the quality of services and care provided by the medical referral department of SZV due to a number of complaints from patients about the department and the approximately Nafls. 30M SZV spends annually on medical referrals abroad. SMN News also requested the report after the investigation was conducted and published the findings of the Inspectorate.
The outcome and the findings of the investigation as published by SMN News led SZV to file a court case against the Inspectorate stating that the Inspectorate had breached patient’s confidentiality by releasing the requested report with patient information to SMN News. In their claim, they also stated that the Inspectorate was not authorized to investigate such cases. The case was handled on April 3rd, 2017.
It should be noted that this case raised quite a number of questions on the procedures and logistics for medical referrals if any. One being the employee did not have a referral letter to travel to Curacao for medical care and she stayed at a hotel that SZV uses for business purposes. Moreover, when SMN News contacted SZV Director Glen Carty late 2016 he admitted that the employee in question stayed at Renaissance and that she provided SZV with a consultation letter. The Director of SZV Glen Carty had told SMN News that the employee did not request to stay at Renaissance but instead it was another employee who booked her stay there by mistake.
Even though all information published by SMN News and the findings of the Inspectorate was accurate, management of SZV took it upon themselves to file a court case against the Inspectorate on behalf of the employee. SZV also claimed that the Inspectorate does not have the authority to answer to LOB requests, this information they obtained from an advice that was leaked to them.
On Monday, May 8th the judge in its ruling ruled that both appeals submitted by SZV were inadmissible on the grounds that SZV does not have any interest at stake in the case.
Hopefully, now that the court has given its verdict, management of SZV will continue to focus on providing quality insurance and benefits to its clients and not waste monies on nonsensical lawsuits. Another point that SZV and the Minister of Health Emil Lee have to consider is the role of the Inspectorate and not their personal agendas. It is the time that these entities follow the rule of law and have some respect for the role the media plays on St. Maarten. If media houses function the way they ought to certainly there will be no need for an integrity chamber on St. Maarten.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Judge deems SZV case against Inspectorate inadmissible.