PHILIPSBURG: — It’s that time of the year when media houses have the task to select a person, company or organization that stood out during the year. This year, 2016 several things happened and while people would gossip on social media and even threaten to protest against some of the injustices on the island, most of the times these threats and gossips never get anywhere other than on social media while the injustices continue at the expense of the people. Therefore, it is necessary when one man stood up against what he believe was wrong and even went as far as filing an official complaint with the Public Prosecutor, and Attorney General against those he felt were breaking the law, at the expense of the defenseless which are the pensioners on St. Maarten, then it is only fitting to give that person credit for his stance and principles.
That man is no other than Dr. Michel Petit who has served St. Maarten for several years not only as the only Obstetrics and Gynecology (often abbreviated to OB/GYN) medical specialist but also as a prosperous businessman and also on several boards on the Dutch side of the island even though Dr. Michel Petit is a French national who could have chosen to dedicate his career on the French side.
For those who do not know Dr. Michel Petit, he‘s a man who is down to earth but stands on the principles he believes in. Based on in-depth research on finding information on Dr. Michel Petit, SMN News came up with some very factual information which would shed light on the doctor that delivered thousands of babies on St. Maarten and cared for many women with gynecological diseases.
Dr. Michel Petit after attending primary school in Marigot left to go to Martinique then Guadeloupe at the age of 10 years old to finish his secondary education. At age 19 he left to Paris where he graduated including an internship from PARIS VI medical school in 1979. He then started his Obstetrics and Gynecology specialization in 1980, but quickly he decided that he wanted to continue his education in the United States. He completed the entry exam that allowed him to move to the USA successfully in 1980 and continue with his specialization in the USA. Michel as he is well known to many or Dr. Petit enrolled in the Harvard University in late1980. After completing his specialization, he completed the required examination which allowed him to practice medicine in the USA. Dr. Petit a young vibrant man back then practiced in the USA for one year, then he returned to St Maarten to serve and care for his people. In 1983 Dr. Petit opened his private clinic in Orange Grove Cole Bay while working at the then St. Rose Hospital. At that time Dr. Petit was the only gynecologist on St. Maarten, he even assisted the French hospital in emergency surgical cases when that hospital could not reach the OB/GYN specialist on call due to poor communications systems at that time on St Martin / St Maarten.
Sometime in 1990, Dr. Petit assisted the Health department with the preparation to move the St. Rose Hospital to the then new St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), a process that took almost a year and on many occasions he had to close his private clinic to dedicate his time to the moving of the St. Rose Hospital.
When the move was completed, Dr. Petit served on the management board of SMMC, but about a year later he resigned from that position and also closed his private clinic in Cole Bay and rented space at SMMC where he practiced as a private OB/GYN specialist. Noteworthy, to mention here that Dr. Petit worked for 12 years as the only gynecologist on St. Maarten, later he brought in Dr. Tjon Kon Fat and after Dr. Roumans.
Another major step Dr. Petit took when the medical Director of SMMC resigned he had to again dedicate his time and neglect his private practice to assist management of SMMC in decisions making since there was no director, he took it on his own spending his own monies and went before the court to get the court to make sure that a director was appointed, at first the court declined his petition since he chose to appear before he court without legal representation and made a few procedural mistakes but that did not stop Dr. Petit, he persisted and hired a lawyer at his expense and approached the court for a second time and his request was granted. Shortly, after that Dr. Scot was appointed Director of SMMC. Doctor Petit worked until December 2010 but after many conflicts with management he felt uncomfortable and unhappy working at the Sint Maarten Medical Centre, he resigned and move his practice to Anguilla where he is still practicing.
Even though not working on the Dutch side, Dr. Michel Petit was appointed on the USZV board in June 2011 as an independent board member, after a 3 months gap he was reappointed Chairman of the USZV in December 2015. When he returned in 2015 at USZV, Dr. Petit saw the need to have a director formally appointed at USZV because the entire structure of USZV was not in order. With his board and in following his recommendation the board nominated the current Director Glen Carty and he made sure the candidate he submitted to the Minister was screened. However, not long after Dr. Petit realized persons in management were not following proper procedures especially when they chose to invest the AOV funds without the necessary law in place to do so. Research showed that Dr. Petit advised the director as well as the Minister of VSA who acknowledged that he was right when he pointed out to them that the AOV law does allow using that fund who is only to be used to pay the pensioners and that procedures were not being followed ,the supervisory board was not informed about several investments or intention to invest the AOV funds and that he as chairman of the board learned of the investments of the monies belonging to pensioners via the media.
On August 8th 2016 when Dr. Petit realized that if he stayed on the supervisory board of USZV and did not act he could be held accountable but also would have to deal with his own guilt if the pension funds were jeopardized, therefore he resigned from the Supervisory Board of USZV and went to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and Attorney General and filed an official complaint against the director he nominated and also against the Minister of VSA who felt that he could do whatever he wants with the monies belonging to the elderly.
It is an outright shame that the justice system did not see it fit to even investigate a Minister who knowingly authorized the Director of USZV to commit an unlawful act in writing. A Minister giving illegal directives to a private entity which case was not even reviewed by the Prosecutor’s office even though the monies that were spent belonged to pensioners. Besides that the Prosecutor’s Office chose not to
act and not protect the funds belonging to pensioners but instead to inform the two persons that an investigation into the complaint filed by Dr. Petit’s was not going to be conducted. Had it not been for SMN News who emailed the prosecutor’s office for an update, neither Dr. Michel Petit nor the people of St. Maarten would have ever known of the decision taken by the Prosecutor’s Office. It is even more disrespectful that the media got a press release the same day when Dr. Petit received a letter from the prosecutor’s office that they have chosen not to investigate or follow up on the complaints he filed.
The action of the Prosecutor’s office has sent the wrong message to the people of St. Maarten in this particular case since several persons failed the screening process when someone filed a complaint against them for years and it was never investigated or substantiated. Persons even failed the screening by association. However, it appears as though justice and the screening are done depending on who you are, and allegedly with whom you are aligned to or maybe the color of one’s skin.
Even though Dr. Petit did not get to protect the people’s money especially the elderly and poor people that worked for years for a meager pension SMN News saw it fitting to nominate Dr. Michel Petit as the person of the year for 2016.
Dr. Petit has given his service to this island in so many ways medically but also found the time in the 1980’s to be the guest on a television program for two years educating women on gynecology and Obstetrics.
Due to services and the care, Dr. Michel Petit gave to women and even went as far as filing a complaint to protect the nickels and dimes for the elderly it is only fitting for SMN News to award Dr. Michel Petit with the person of the year award.
To you Dr. Michel Petit, while this will come to you as a huge surprise, we at SMN News wants you to know that the women and people of St. Maarten are more than grateful for your years of dedicated services, as such we wish you all the very best in the New Year and your future endeavors’.
Source: St. Martin News Network
SMN News person of the year is no other than Dr. Michel Petit, the only man that had the backbone to defend the defenseless.