MADAME ESTATE–St. Maarten Consumers Coalition is urging patients who paid for services at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) before February 1, 2018, according to the new tariff increase that went into effect as of January of that year, to demand a reimbursement of the difference between the old and new tariffs.
The Coalition said at a press conference that Public Health VSA Minister Emil Lee had informed it in a letter dated December 14 that by way of a national decree containing national measures of November 2, 2018, new medical tariffs for SMMC had been established retroactive to February 1.
“The decree formalised the 41.8 per cent tariff hike that the St. Maarten Medical Center started to charge without a national decree. The St. Maarten Medical Center started to charge this tariff hike of 41.8 per cent as of January 1, 2018. Now that this decree is published and went into force, the retroactive force until February 2018 means that all consumers who were billed for all the medical services received in SMMC during the month of January 2018 can go to SMMC and demand a refund of 41.8 per cent on all their bills,” the Coalition said.
“Now that with this national decree the illegal tariff increase is legalised, but retroactive until February 1, 2018. There was no press release or announcement from SMMC or from the Minister of VSA to inform the consumers who were charged too much in January that they are entitled to a refund of the illegal charge of 41.8 per cent more in January 2018.
“The Consumer Coalition therefore informs all consumers who got billed by SMMC in January 2018 to go and claim their refund of 41.8 per cent from SMMC. If you are not getting through you can count on our support to address the issue.”