In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, a huge backlog of insured persons requiring medical treatment or consultation abroad has arisen on Sint Eustatius and Saba. This is due to a combination of factors: severe damage to the airports on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, damage to the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), the Louis Constant Flemming Hospital, and the cancellation of regular flights between the windward islands.
In collaboration with care providers such as the Fundashon Maridal, the Horacio Oduber Hospital (Aruba), the Instituto Medico San Nicolas (ImSan, Aruba) and the St. Elisabeth Hospital (Curaçao), the ZVK has arranged that insured persons requiring immediate care on Saint Eustatius and Saba have been given that care quickly and adequately. In addition, the necessary steps were taken to arrange for the facilities required to provide care to insured persons needing critical long-term care, such as dialysis patients on Saint Eustatius and Saba.
The situation has stabilized somewhat now. After a thorough evaluation of infrastructural aspects of the medical facilities on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin and after a broad consultation with care providers on Sint Eustatius, Saba, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, the ZVK has decided to resume medical referrals from Saint Eustatius and Saba as from Monday, October 23rd.
The ZVK will make every effort to catch up on the backlog of medical referrals with the following method:
- All medical referrals that were in ZVK’s system up to and including 14 October will be sorted and, in consultation with the attending physician, prioritized based on destination for consultation/treatment and urgency;
- The ZVK will personally contact all insured persons on the list to be sent on medical referral to inform them of the date and destination of medical referral;
- Insured persons will be transported by regular flight or with a charter flight to their destination for medical consultation or treatment;
- Since it is not possible technically to pay daily reimbursements at this time, the ZVK has arranged that all insured persons sent for medical reasons to Sint Maarten/Saint Martin and/or Bonaire, will be offered lodgings with a meal plan (3 meals per day). In cases where insured persons will be returning to their own islands on the same day (day treatment), they will be offered a balanced meal.
In this way, the ZVK hopes to catch up on the backlog in medical referrals before the end of the year. The ZVK will use the local media and other communication channels to keep insured persons on Saint Eustatius and Saba up to date regarding developments concerning this special situation.
For more information, insured persons are invited to contact the ZVK office on Saba: Clement Sorton Street (main building of Saba Roads), telephone number 416 3552. On Sint Eustatius: Cottageweg z/n, telephone numbers +599 318 3379, +599 318 3381, +599 318 3375. Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our website: www.zvkcn.nl
Press release RCN