CAY HILL–Trust Fund Steering Committee members Marcel Gumbs and Frans Weekers were updated on the progress and plans for St. Maarten’s new general hospital on Tuesday, October 9.
St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has signed an agreement to receive a US $25 million grant from the Trust Fund funded by the Netherlands and managed by the World Bank. The grant will be used to improve services of the current hospital while the new hospital is being built, and to upgrade the design of the new hospital to withstand category-five-plus hurricanes.
SMMC Board of Directors Chairman Kees Klarenbeek, accompanied by Medical Director Felix Holiday and SMMC managing staff, welcomed the delegation and gave an in-depth presentation on the progress of the project.
Weekers voiced his support for the project during the meeting. “The plans for the new St. Maarten general hospital incorporate all aspects of the type of projects which we like to see realised out of the St. Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund.”
Some of the key actions and new services linked to the new hospital are Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation; increased capacity from 66 to 110 beds; continuing education sessions for current SMMC staff; new specialties such as urology, neurology, orthopaedics, haematology, ophthalmology and pulmonology; and four state-of-the-art operating theatres.
These upgrades will greatly enhance the quality of healthcare in St. Maarten and reduce the need for medical referrals abroad, it was stated in a press release issued late Wednesday evening.
“A new and improved hospital is direly needed. I am happy to see it become a reality,” Gumbs said.
Weekers, who was accompanied by Netherlands Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Reconstruction Program Director Hans van der Stelt, arrived on October 7 for a working visit. The purpose of the visit is to get a first-hand update on the progress of the reconstruction, in preparation for the next official Steering Committee meeting in November.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81525-weekers-gumbs-pleased-with-new-hospital-plans