PHILIPSBURG/Marigot:— Patients that are ensured by SZV St. Maarten will not be able to see a doctor even in emergency cases at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital (LCF) unless they pay the 75 Euros consultation fee cash or 100 Euros as an initial deposit if they are to be hospitalized. Management of LCF implement the new rules as of July 24th, 2017 after they were not paid by the Association Observatoire de la Santé of Saint Martin (OBS). The key players in this association are the medical director of LCF Louis Jeffry. The board of the OBS has members from the Dutch side and French side since the two sides agreed to work hand in hand to improve cooperation. Bas on this initiative Minister of Health Emil Lee issued a letter to OBS which was presented to the EU to obtain funding.
However, it is questionable how the association was formed since the head of the department of Public Health is a member and the Minister of Health. On the French side, the current third VP is also listed as a board member along with the medical director of LCF of LCF.
SZV has an agreement with OBS to handle referrals even though the Association articles of incorporation clearly states that the association that is also funded with EU funding is tasked with enhancing cooperation in matters related to healthcare. The association articles of incorporation also state that it is tasked with working on ways of developing the economy.
SZV was using Health Destination (HD) a Dutch registered NV to handle its referrals to all French territories but for unknown reasons, SZV stopped working with Health Destination where Louis Jeffry is the majority shareholder. SMN News understands that Jeffry and the minority shareholder Lilianne Page had some disagreements thus leading to a fallout and SZV then entered into an agreement with Jeffry’s French registered association OBS.
However, OBS has not been paying the bills accrued by SZV patients that were either treated or were hospitalized at LCF.
LCF sent several reminders urging SZV to pay the medical institution but those bills were not paid up to last week, thus leaving the accounting department of LCF with no other choice but to demand cash payments.
SMN News contacted Director of SZV Glen Carty who said the issues will be resolved since SZV will be meeting with the management of LCF to work on an agreement. Carty said that invoices were not sent to SZV however, some documentation that SMN News received showed that OBS, SZV, and HD were all sent emails about the outstanding bills that are owed to LCF.
According to information, SMN News received states that SZV has been paying OBS $250,000.00 annually via an offshore account in the USA. It is not clear what this annual fee covers.
The current situation that SZV patients are faced with shows that SZV and OBS did not consider the patients when they signed their agreement or chose not to make payments to LCF. The lack of payments to LCF showed that patients living on St. Maarten/St. Martin cannot receive care on the French side simply because the intermediary partner did not see it fit to ensure that the bills to LCF are paid. SMN News further learned that LCF does not accept SZV cards and management of LCF chose not to do business directly with SZV.
While St. Maarten/ St. Martin boasts of being one island simply working agreements cannot be reached by the hospital on the French side and SZV, the health insurance on Dutch St. Maarten.
What is yet to be understood is how it was possible for SZV to conduct business with hospitals overseas, such as Colombia, Dominican Republic, and other countries but they were not able to secure a proper and feasible agreement with LCF which would save SZV money if patients remain on St. Martin. Certainly, if an agreement is reached patients will get their treatment here on St. Martin which would benefit all parties involved.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Persons insured by SZV has to pay cash at LFC. Lack of payment by OBS.