Inspectorate asked to review SZV medical referral process

PHILIPSBURG–Health Minister Emil Lee has asked the Inspectorate of Health Dr. Earl Best to “review” the medical referral process of Social and Health Care Insurances SZV and to prepare a report in collaboration with SZV.

Health Minister Emil Lee said this is being done to establish a baseline and an improvement plan where needed. The review will result in an action plan to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the entire medical referral process, Lee said in a press release issued last night.

Lee said after his trip to Colombia where he visited several hospitals and met with COOMEVA, it became very clear that the entire functioning of the medical referral process including before patients are referred to SZV and after they return from abroad must be optimised. “While in general there have been many positive reports on quality of service, there have also been various complaints from clients that have been referred abroad for diagnostic test and treatment,” Lee said.

“Ultimately, all stakeholders share the goal of providing high quality affordable healthcare. The Ministry of VSA (Health, Labour and Social Affairs) and SZV are committed to working together to improve the whole referral process for patients that are sent abroad for medical treatment,” Lee said.

SZV official Glen Carty said based on principles of openness and transparency, SZV welcomes the constructive feedback from Inspector General of VSA Dr. Earl Best on where SZV’s referral process can be improved. “SZV has already embarked on customer service improvement plan 3.0 but recognise that there are still areas for improvement,” Carty said.

“While SZV has already made ‘substantial efforts’ to improve its customer service and quality of care – all parties agree that there is substantial room for improvement in the referral process,” the release said.

The Inspectorate will review the procedures of SZV when sending patients abroad. While the review process will begin with SZV, the entire process chain including family physicians and Medical specialists will be included in the review process.

“In the same spirit of cooperation and collaboration, I’m also looking at ways to collaborate with Aruba and Curaçao in medical referrals as much can be gained by joint procurement of care, in the selection of hospitals, the preparation of protocols and guidelines for referrals and the evaluation of referrals,” Lee noted.

Source: Daily Herald
Inspectorate asked to review SZV medical referral process