CAY HILL–St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) General Director Kees Klarenbeek said last Friday’s court verdict that resulted in the suspension of the development of the new hospital for St. Maarten will have consequences for patient services that the medical facility was planning to expand.
In an invited comment on the verdict, Klarenbeek said SMMC was made aware of the court verdict in the case of Austrian development company VAMED against Social Health Insurance SZV last week Friday. VAMED objected to the selection of INSO as the developer of the new hospital and the court ruled in favor of VAMED. The verdict resulted in the immediate suspension of the development of the new medical facility and parties are currently assessing the situation with their legal minds to determine their next step.
“We regret that this verdict will cause a delay in the construction of our new general hospital,” Klarenbeek told this newspaper. “Postponement of this construction will have consequences to the patient services that SMMC is planning to extend in order to provide our community with much needed medical services.”
He said extending services is in the best interest of not only patients, but also for the island’s financial benefit by providing these services close to home. “Furthermore, postponement of the new, long anticipated general hospital is especially de-motivating to our staff. Many of them worked many extra miles in contributing towards the plans of this expansion and now must continue to work longer than expected in a hospital building that has outgrown its needed capacity.”
Klarenbeek hopes that every effort will be made by all parties involved to solve this situation. “SMMC will remain fully confident that the new hospital building will be achieved as soon as possible and will do its utmost to ensure this,” he noted.
SZV had said in a press release issued after the verdict that it will appeal the decision of the court.