St. Maarten Public Health Minister Emil Lee, Netherlands State Secretary Paul Blokhuis, Curaçao Health Minister Suzy Camelia-Römer and Aruba Health Minister Dangui Oduber.
PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten will take the lead in three areas of public health development as part of a collaboration established with the public health ministers of Curaçao and Aruba and State Secretary of Health Paul Blokhuis of the Netherlands.
Minister of Public Health Emil Lee elaborated on the matter during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday. Lead areas for St. Maarten are disaster and crisis management, medical waste management, and data sharing and benchmarking.
Parties established several areas of collaboration during an administrative meeting held in Bonaire on May 16. A collaboration agreement amongst the countries for public health enables them to strengthen their own capacity and be able to provide better support to each other in the various areas.
As it relates to disaster and crisis management, the scope of the collaboration includes assessing plans for patient and casualty distribution in the Caribbean and psychosocial care after crises and disasters. Steps will be established in each country to ensure that reasonable prices for logistics such as hotels, transportation and medical tariffs are maintained in times of crisis and disasters.
Medical waste management poses a problem for Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten. A workgroup led by St. Maarten will be committed to mapping out the issues surrounding medical waste. St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) was recently challenged with this issue. St. Maarten is now also in the process of coming to a solution for the dump management.
The development of health care data management systems will enable countries to start sharing and exchanging data for benchmarking purposes. Examples include the benchmarking of reinfection rates across the hospitals and reduction methods implemented in protocols. St. Maarten will lead a workgroup to analyse the use of different systems.
Other topics of agreement include implementation of international health regulations; health in all policies; curative care; collaboration between hospitals, inspectorates and health insurers, and pharmaceuticals, mental health care and medical professionals; countries working together on a quality framework; and exchange of doctors based on unified criteria.
The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten were represented in the third administrative meeting by State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport Paul Blokhuis (the Netherlands); Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport Danguillaume “Dangui” Oduber (Aruba); Minister of Health, Environment and Nature Suzanne F.C. Camelia- Römer (Curaçao); and St. Maarten Health Minister Emil Lee.