The Island Council of Saba and deputies have once again lashed out at the functioning of Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands, a branch of the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport. A few weeks ago, after a conversation with a delegation from Saba, State Secretary Van Ooijen made it appear to the Second Chamber that “the worst cold is out of the air”. During the last Central Commission meeting, it turned out that nothing could be further from the truth.
The immediate reason for the dissatisfaction is a publication by ZJCN that residents of the Caribbean Netherlands who travel abroad need additional insurance against medical expenses, whereby the ZJCN considers the European Netherlands also considered “foreign”, as well as the sister islands of Sint Maarten, Curacao, and Aruba. Only emergency care is insured and only then, with a registration form provided by ZJCN.
To his great dismay, Island councilman Van Xanten said to have seen the message from ZJCN in the media: “The message states that Saba residents are only covered in the Caribbean Netherlands. However, people do not go to Bonaire, 800 km away from Saba, to shop, they go to Sint Maarten.” Buncamper said he was “stunned” by ZJCN’s message. He believes that care on the islands under ZJCN “has become very businesslike with insufficient attention to the wishes and concerns of patients.” Charles: “People are in a vulnerable position when they are ill and need specialist care. ZJCN does not always show empathy for our patients.”
Deputy Public Health Wilson supported the criticism of the Island Council. “It’s outrageous to see the bureaucracy that people have to go through for a medical referral. The situation is unacceptable.”
“We are very frustrated with this issue, and we have heard the same apologies countless times. We are tired of hearing it and we want concrete results,” said Zagers, who spoke of a “lack of empathy and respect” on the part of ZJCN.