The ministers and state secretary of public health of the four countries in the kingdom during a ministerial consultation last week Friday, expressed unanimous support for the agreements that were made at the healthcare summit in St. Maarten early December with regard to the establishing of the Dutch Caribbean Hospital Alliance (DCHA). This means that the establishing of this collaborative effort planned for early 2022 can go ahead. Already in February 2021, then Public Health Ministers Dangui Oduber of Aruba, Zita Jesus-Leito of Curacao, Richard Panneflek of St. Maarten and Dutch State Secretary Paul Blokhuis approved and signed the basic document to establish a cooperative of the hospitals of Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.
From December 8 to 10, a conference was held in St. Maarten, under the guidance of the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport VWS. Present were representatives of the Ministries of Public Health of Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands, as well as healthcare insurance organisations and the hospitals/medical centres of the six islands.
Several unsolved issues with regard to the establishing of the DCHA alliance that needed to be discussed and further clarified at the summit in St. Maarten. A number of adaptations to several documents were made and conclusions were drawn in a few areas. The alliance involves cooperation areas like essential specialist insured basic hospital care, regular structural coordinating consultations, sustainable financing, personnel and education, governance of the cooperative DCHA, joint purchasing, and medical referrals.
These items were included in the final document at the summit. This document was subsequently approved by the ministers and state secretary of the four countries last Friday. The intention is to formally establish the DCHA on January 17, 2022. It took some time to prepare for this as the first agreement was made in February 2021.
The hospitals involved, Curacao Medical Center (CMC), Horacio Oduber Hospital (HOH) in Aruba, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and Mariadal Foundation in Bonaire, will also present the conclusions of the summit to their supervisory boards. Also present at the summit were Saba Cares and St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation (SEHCF). Curacao and Aruba will have to draft internal cooperation agreements with the other healthcare providing institute. For Curacao, it concerns the Advent Hospital and for Aruba the San Nicolas Medical Institute IM-SAN. All care institutes that were present at the summit in St. Maarten will simultaneously enter the cooperative, with the exception of Saba and St. Eustatius.
The DCHA will, in cooperative form, give content to the joint goal to reduce vulnerability and dependence, but above all, to be able to guarantee the continuity of medical specialist care in the future, and to increase the quality and availability of medical specialist care there, where possible.
The DCHA mission is: “To deliver the best possible medical care locally and regionally through a secured collaboration of the countries within the kingdom and the strategic partners, whereby the well-being of our patients, the maintaining of a financial-economic healthy situation and the safeguarding of our cultural values come first.”
The Daily Herald.