SMMC fully backs new hospital, says it is ‘right’ for St. Maarten

CAY HILL–St. Maarten Medical Centre’s (SMMC) General Director Kees Klarenbeek said on Sunday that the medical facility fully supports the new hospital project, noting that “it is the right hospital for St. Maarten.”

In a press release issued Sunday night, Klarenbeek said SMMC has been involved in the new hospital project from the beginning, including the development of the terms of reference and the evaluation of the different proposals received from the open tender process.

“Many staff members of SMMC have been involved in the planning and development of the new hospital project, and we are very comfortable that the proposed new hospital is the right hospital for St. Maarten.”

He said also that as part of the evaluation team of the bids, “we are comfortable that the quality specified by the company INSO either meets or exceeds the standards that we have established for the new general hospital. The staff of SMMC have been promised a new hospital several times, and we are looking forward to this finally becoming a reality.”

A new hospital, he noted, is necessary as the existing hospital is too small and no longer meets the functionality requirements of today’s vision on modern healthcare. SMMC’s current building is also old and expensive to maintain.

The Tripartite, a collaboration between Health Ministry, Social Health Insurance SZV and SMMC, are working together to make it possible to develop hospital care in St. Maarten, including building a new hospital building. This partnership is a new approach which benefits the citizens of St. Maarten and surrounding Islands, Klarenbeek said.

“SMMC is the general hospital that guarantees high-quality hospital care, based on patients’ needs to residents and visitors of St. Maarten and surrounding islands, close to home. As stated, SMMC will offer quality care based on patients’ needs, also called the care demand model.”

Klarenbeek said the care demand is specifically researched and tailored with the contribution of SMMC’s medical specialists for the local situation in St. Maarten. Based on the outcome of the research, new specialties will be introduced, and action has to be taken to make it possible to let existing specialties grow in volume. New specialties, such as neurology, urology, orthopaedics and ophthalmology will be introduced.

Expanding and increasing the services makes it possible to offer 90 per cent of the hospital care close to home, and will reduce discomfort for patients and their relatives.

The conclusions of the research for the care demand, together with the local information from our hospital, shows in an early stage clearly the high needs of the population for dialyses treatments. In the very beginning of the process it was decided that this service had to be increased step by step, whereby it was not possible to wait till the new hospital would be available.

A gradual growth, to serve the needs of the population, from 9,000 treatments in 2016 to 36,000 treatments in 2030 was and is included in the new hospital plans. The first step to increase this service to 11,000 treatments per year is already realised. The second one, to increase further to 16,000 treatments per year, is in progress.

Klarenbeek said functionality of the new facility will include medical equipment. “SMMC has taken the responsibility to set up the lists with the required medical equipment and their functional specifications. Important requirements are that the medical equipment that will be offered is of a top brand in the different care segments, and is compliant to all quality specifications.

SMMC will only accept medical equipment that will guarantee the delivering of quality care. To be ready to use, this medical equipment, once delivered, the provider will be responsible to educate and train the future users timely,” he noted.

The process of getting a new hospital in place is a challenging one, Klarenbeek said. New functionality, new medical equipment, new services and different logistics in a new environment will come up and should be carefully managed. This is recognised and therefore a transition plan is set up that will be further developed on the short term. This intricate process is supported by the entire organisation of SMMC.

Chairman of SMMC’s Supervisory Council Robert-Jan James said SMMC takes its responsibility in this process and is fully confident that the process can be completed successfully. “The development of a new hospital is necessary for SMMC to continue to execute its mission, which is to provide high-quality, accessible and affordable hospital care in the best interest of the patient, by closely cooperating with strategic partners, within a safe environment with motivated, qualified and competent staff,” James said.

Source: Daily Herald
SMMC fully backs new hospital, says it is ‘right’ for St. Maarten


  1. Hearing this from the horse’s mouth gives hope and confidence that the new hospital project is indeed the right decision for SXM.