The Caribbean Netherlands Healthcare Insurance Office (Zorgverzekeringskantoor Caribisch Nederland, hereinafter ZVK) has made several provisions in connection with the imminent closure of the Saba airport for the renovation of the airstrip in the period from September 10th to October 9th, 2018, in order to ensure the continuity of medical referrals abroad and emergency evacuations.
It has been agreed with the referring doctors in Saba that in principle all non-emergency medical referrals to St. Maarten, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Colombia or the Netherlands, will be scheduled and executed either before or after the closure of the airport.
In cases where medical referrals abroad should prove to be necessary in this period, it has been agreed with the referring doctors that these will be executed by ferry. In relation thereto, the ZVK has made contractual arrangements with Saba Sea Transport for daily transportation between Saba and St. Maarten with the ferries ‘Dawn II’ and ‘Big B’. Insured persons who wish to travel with the ferry ‘ The Edge’, may claim reimbursement of the costs incurred from the ZVK upon return to Saba. The schedules of the three ferries are as follows:
|Morning departure||Afternoon departure|
|Saba – St. Maarten||St. Maarten – Saba||Saba – St. Maarten||St. Maarten – Saba|
|Monday||8:30 am, Dawn II||9:00 am, The Edge||3:30 pm, The Edge||4:30 pm, Dawn II|
|Tuesday||8:30 am, Dawn II||9:00 am, The Edge||3:30 pm, The Edge||4:30 pm, Dawn II|
|Wednesday||8:30 am, Dawn II||9:00 am, The Edge||3:30 pm, The Edge||4:30 pm, Dawn II|
|Thursday||8:30 am, Dawn II||7:45 am, Big B||4:00 pm, Big B||4:30 pm, Dawn II|
|Friday||8:30 am, Dawn II||9:00 am, The Edge||3:30 pm, The Edge||4:30 pm, Dawn II|
|Saturday||8:30 am, Dawn II||7:45 am, Big B||4:00 pm, Big B||4:30 pm, Dawn II|
|Sunday||8:30 am, Dawn II||7:45 am, Big B||4:00 pm, Big B||4:30 pm, Dawn II|
As for emergency evacuations by helicopter these, as known. will remain on standby during the period of the airstrip closure. Special provisions have been made for this purpose in relation thereto in collaboration with the Public Entity Saba, including designation of a special landing site at the airport. In addition, the ZVK recently recruited a second crew member for the helicopters stationed in St. Eustatius, so that the availability of an aircraft for any emergency situations in Saba remains assured.