PHILIPSBURG:— The Ministry VSA has been diligently working on the completion of the legal framework for a registry of medical professionals in St. Maarten. The so called BIG ordinance (National Ordinance on Individual Medical Professionals) was one of the many ordinances taken over from the N.A. by country St. Maarten in 2010, but never published. Two executional ordinances containing general measures arising from the main BIG ordinance are into their final stage. It is expected for this legal trajectory to be finalized and the ordinances published by May 2018. Consultation rounds with professional stakeholders and associations, the Council for Advice, the Council for Public Health and health care institutions will commence within the next two months.
The objective of the BIG ordinance is to improve quality of care by establishing quality requirements for individual medical professionals, both in the area of educational training and competency. It also provides the enforcement tools to the Inspectorate VSA to address individual medical professionals in case of non-compliance. The BIG ordinance is one of the three important ordinances to improve and guarantee safety and quality of care. The other two are the National Ordinance on Health Care Institutions and the National Ordinance on the Council for Public Health.
The law also provides for professional title protection. Having the registry and all accompanying procedures implemented will make it mandatory for all medical professionals to be registered or enlisted in order to be able to legally work on St. Maarten. The law makes a distinction between recognized professions who must be registered and so-called alternative medical professions who have an enlistment obligation. The law will recognize 24 medical professions, including specialties and many of the known alternative medicine disciplines such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Reiki, Ayurveda therapy and Hypnotherapy. Each registered medical professional, with the exception of the alternative medicine disciplines, will have to prolong registration every five years. The requirements for prolongation have also been established in the law.
The Inspectorate VSA is tasked by law with the execution and enforcement of the ordinances. It is expected for this ordinance to enter into effect in August 2018. Registration will be divided into phases. It is strongly advised that all medical professionals start gathering all their original diplomas and other relevant documentation. Specialists must be in possession of proof of registration from the country in which they finalized their specialization.
Press Release IVSA
Source: St. Martin News Network
Mandatory registration for health care professionals in St. Maarten in process.