June 21, 2023  –PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten (Tuesday, June 20, 2023) — Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Mr. Omar Ottley, alongside Social & Health Insurances SZV and the St. Maarten Diagnostic Center (SMDC), made history on Monday June 19, with the contract signing of the Huisarten Post (HAP) services referred to as ‘House Doctor Care after-hours’. Present at the signing, were the honorable Minister of VSA, Mr. Omar Ottley, SZV Director, Mr. Glen Carty, SZV Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Reginald Willemsberg, Dr. Danny Dennaoui of SMDC and SMDC Chief Operations Manager Mr. Joshua Djemadi.

Presently, patients do not have access to House Doctor (HD) medical care after business hours; this has been a long-standing challenge for the community. In a joint effort by the Ministry of VSA and SZV to bridge this gap, and continuously enhance the quality of health care provided to people of Sint Maarten, a 6-months pilot project with SMDC for HAP services will soon be launched. SMDC is currently finalizing the required documentation of the doctors that will be providing the HAP services, once this is completed the official start date will be announced. HAP services include primary care (diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses), small procedures including but not limited to nebulizing asthma patients, wound care (stitches and ingrown nail removal) and prescribed medication for a maximum of 3 days.

The HAP Services pilot project will operate from 6 pm -12 am; providing the above-mentioned services, which will positively impact the waiting period and number of HD-level cases at the ER. SZV insured are reminded to ensure that their medical insurance status is valid in their MySZV portal via, as this will be an additional benefit for the SZV insured. Persons who are privately insured or uninsured will also be able to make use of this service, in accordance with their insurance policies or can pay out of pocket.

SMDC will be the sole provider of HAP services for all persons in need of after-hours medical care that is not an ER case. SMDC will only provide services to patients who need care that cannot wait until the next day. The care provided will be communicated openly and timely with the patient’s registered house doctor. SMDC will not operate as a replacement of patients’ house doctor.

Throughout the pilot project a workgroup consisting of representatives of VSA, SZV, SMDC, House Doctors and SMMC will be established to monitor the project and to collect data. This workgroup will be able to provide recommendations for future decision making on the development of HAP services and the overall improvement of the health care system on the island.

SZV anticipates that the HAP services will greatly contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the general access to health care services. Dr. Dennaoui stated that this service will improve the quality of care in St. Maarten.

“I am proud to be able to reach this milestone in the development of our health care system”. Said Minister Ottley.

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