PHILIPSBURG–Health Minister Emil Lee on Sunday expressed disappointment in last Friday’s court verdict issued based on a lawsuit filed by VAMED against Social Health Insurances SZV regarding the construction of a new general hospital for St. Maarten.
“Unfortunately, I believe that the decision will represent a delay to the construction of the much needed new St. Maarten general hospital project,” Lee told The Daily Herald in an invited comment.
“While this is part of the open government process, it is sad that the necessary developments in health care for the population and best interests of the people may be frustrated by this legal dispute.”
The minister said while the verdict is disappointing on many levels, most troubling for him is the impact the delay caused by the lawsuit of VAMED could have on the quality of medical care for the people of St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.
“As St. Maarten’s only medical centre, the SMMC (St. Maarten Medical Center) and future St Maarten general hospital forms a critical part of our country’s health care system. This outcome is both surprising and disappointing especially since experts such as KPMG, Royal Haskoning DHV, ICE and numerous legal advisers have been consulted during the entire process.”
He said legal advisers are studying the decision and the ramifications of the court’s decision. “I understand that SZV will be appealing the decision, but I am concerned that a protracted legal dispute played over the backs of the country is not in the people’s best interest. The efforts to realise a new hospital that brings affordable, high quality health care close to home will continue. The process cannot stop but apparently it can be delayed,” Lee noted.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/61866-lee-disappointed-in-court-verdict