SMMC says reports that Mercelina botched surgery ‘irrefutably untrue’


CAY HILL–St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) on Thursday condemned and strongly refuted reports published on a website on Thursday that general surgeon Dr. Luc Mercelina had botched a recent surgery.

SMMC General Director Kees Klarenbeek said in a press release that the hospital was compelled to respond to the article as it was “damaging and not based on the truth.”
Klarenbeek said the article accused Mercelina of misplacing a port-a-cath in a patient’s lung. “First and foremost SMMC emphasises that Dr. Mercelina, as from the start of his work for SMMC since July 2016, never performed a port-a-cath procedure. The statement in the article is therefore irrefutably untrue,” Klarenbeek said.

“Furthermore, SMMC has no indication that such a procedure performed in the SMMC resulted in any calamity nor has received any such complaint in the past months. The news article is seriously insulting and damaging to the reputation of Dr. Mercelina and the hospital.

“Also the article has resulted in incorrect and damaging comments. SMMC has not been provided the opportunity whatsoever to respond to the [website mentioned – Ed.] findings before publishing the article. Dr. Klarenbeek nor Dr. [Felix – Ed.] Holiday has been contacted.”

The hospital is seeking legal advice on filing a report with the Prosecutor regarding slander and defamation.

Source: The Daily Herald



  1. Rumours are saying that it does appear that there must be people around who still have a bone to pick with Dr. Mercelina. Put it this way: there are not only people around who praise this man. Many describe him as the complete opposite of being a humble minded character. Instead there are certain people around which are feeling mistreated by him in the days before he was leaving St. Maarten.
    He messed up their treatment and the patients were left with the consequence. This group of persons won’t forget because they’re been reminded everyday because of their pains.
    This doctor has been working in Belgium before he did return to the island. Because his medical papers were not accepted by the Dutch medical chamber due to insufficient qualification. That might be the reason why he’s running around nowadays and openly say in public that he hates Dutch people, whilst his wife is Dutch and standing next to him and singing in the same choir. Simply amazing!
    His medical track record was also evaluated in his home country Curacao with the same result as in Holland before. Insufficient qualification.
    He has worked in Belgium as an emergency doctor which does not automatically qualifies him to work as a surgeon. Well established surgeons were not impressed by his operation catalogue which some called very thin.
    However, St. Maaarten and the SMMC had all no problem with this questionnable information as they were welcoming him with open arms although background research on his trackrecord was requested and the management had been warned from different corners. Nullum crimen sine lege? But what happens if this doctor is going to receive a complaint by a patient from Saba or Statia? Because in such situation it is the legal responsibility of the medical inspectorate from the Netherlands which will kick in then. That patient could potentially sue the hospital for misconduct and probably will have a healthy chance to win the case.
    Thus, he is an easy target for criticsm and again it appears that there are some people which still have a bone to pick with this guy.
    Question though is: if Dr. Mercelina was not the doctor who was conducting that treatment which doctor did so?
    The inspector general should take over the case and interview the patient and inform the public whether there’s any substance to these rumours. Before the hospital director and his medical coordinator are trying to sweep this story under the rug.