PHILIPSBURG–Authorities forked out NAf. 908,327 in medical and air ambulance costs for 11 undocumented and uninsured persons who were evacuated from St. Maarten based on life threatening medical emergencies in 2018.
Of this figure, NAf. 601,439 was for medical costs and NAf. 306,888 was for air ambulance evacuation costs. This means an average of NAf. 82,575 was spent per patient.
The figures were provided to Members of Parliament (MPs) during the continuation of meeting of the Central Committee of Parliament on the draft 2019 budget on Monday.
Lee was at the time responding to a question from an MP about how much government spends (in medical costs) for uninsured in St. Maarten.
Lee said an uninsured and undocumented person first goes to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for emergency assistance. If their medical care cannot be handled locally the patient is then air-evacuated internationally. He said government stands guarantee for this international aspect on humanitarian grounds. The bill incurred locally at SMMC is not covered and often times goes unpaid.