An aerial photo of SMMC’s Multi-Purpose Clinic.
CAY HILL–Persons in need of pulmonology care can now be treated at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), which recently started pulmonology services in its newly-constructed multi-purpose clinic which is being shared with the Urology and Neurology Departments.
Pulmonology is a medical specialty that deals with diseases involving the lungs. The SMMC Pulmonology Clinic is operational on a weekly basis and provides a range of services for the treatment of a variety of lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS), tuberculosis and lung emphysema, amongst other things.
A rotating team of five pulmonologists originating from Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao will be treating patients. They are Dr. Folkert Brijker, Dr. Caroline Becker, Dr. Selene Kock, Dr. Leontine van Elden and Dr. Monique Wong Loi Sing. They bring with them diverse backgrounds and sub-specialisations within their field, SMMC said in a press release on Tuesday.
Brijker works at St. Elisabeth Hospital SEHOS in Curaçao as head of the Pulmonology Department. He specialises in endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), a minimally invasive yet highly effective procedure used to diagnose lung cancer, infections and other diseases.
Becker currently works in Aruba. She specialises in obstructive sleep apnoea and tuberculosis patient care.
Kock works in Aruba specialising in interstitial lung disease (ILD) and sarcoidosis.
Van Elden practices in New York and Wong Loi Sing works in Curaçao and Bonaire as a pulmonologist. Wong Loi Sing is the Director of Savaan Diagnostic Center and also functions as an Intensive Care Specialist.
Kock said the team’s aim is to deliver treatment and preventive care in a compassionate manner with minimal disruption to patients’ lives.
“Since the beginning of the Pulmonology Clinic in St. Maarten, we have seen a lot of patients with respiratory diseases like asthma. Additionally, we have seen many patients on the island with allergic asthma and interstitial lung diseases (diseases of the lung, not the airways), patients with COPD and lung emphysema in frequent smokers. Fortunately, we can now provide the convenience of treatment for these diagnoses right here in St. Maarten,” Kock said.
Part of the patient care experience in pulmonology includes patient education.
“With several treatment procedures, we have to teach patients how to use their prescribed devices accordingly, when to increase dosage and when to decrease,” Kock said. “We hope to continue and further grow our work here in St. Maarten and the surrounding islands for many more years to come. Improving the healthcare provided to our patients within the Pulmonology Department is the ultimate goal.”
Patients who wish to see a pulmonologist can make an appointment at SMMC’s Outpatient Department at tel. 543-1111 ext. 1300 or 1378. Appointments can be made from 8:00am to 4:30pm Mondays to Fridays.
Social and Health Insurances SZV patients are requested to obtain a referral letter from their family doctors.