Saba’s Island Council will be travelling to Bonaire on Tuesday, May 14 for a meeting with the Health Insurance Office ZVK and to visit several organizations and projects.
Four members of the Island Council are going: Eviton Heyliger, Vito Charles, Hemmie van Xanten and Esmeralda Johnson. Island Council Registrar Akilah Levenstone will also join the delegation. Councilman Carl Buncamper is unable to join the delegation because of other commitments that involve travelling.
The main purpose for the visit of the Island Council is the meeting with the ZVK to discuss the logistical issues that the Saba people have been facing with medical referrals abroad. The meeting was requested by the Saba Island Council and takes place in Kralendijk on Wednesday, May 15.
In preparation of the meeting with the ZVK, the delegation met with Commissioner Bruce Zagers on Monday, May 13 to get an update on the latest developments in this area. The Commissioner provided information on his recent meeting with the Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports VWS in The Hague.
Delegation leader Heyliger explained why the Island Council wanted a meeting with the ZVK. “Over the last year, especially since January 2019, a growing protest among patients depending on ZVK has developed on Saba. The reason for this growing protest is mainly based on logistical issues, decision- making issues, equal treatment issues and the very strict enforcement of rules and regulations,” Heyliger stated.
While on Bonaire, the Saba delegation will use the opportunity to visit the agricultural projects Bon Terra and the Greenhouse. On the itinerary also is a visit to Foundation Krusada, the local organization that offers care for addicts, (former) prisoners and mentally and physically challenged persons.
The Island Council members will further have a meeting with the Bonaire Housing Foundation FCB and visit the new social housing project Bario Nieuw Amsterdam. The Saba delegation travels back on Friday, May 17.