photo: Pixabay

PHILIPSBURG – The Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has signed an agreement with the Curaçao Medical Center to treat patients who need acute emergency care but cannot be treated in the SMMC. The reason for this agreement are the border closures of countries where the SMMC usually sends its patients.

Dialysis patients from Saba and Statia can still travel to the hospital on Sint Maarten for treatment, just as patients who need emergency care and cannot be treated on Saba or Statia.

The capacity of the hospital will be expanded due to the coronavirus.

Mobile pavilion
“The government of Sint Maarten, in close collaboration with the SMMC, is working on extra capacity in the form of a Mobile Medical Pavilion. This will be placed close to the SMMC and will mostly be used for the triage of individuals with flu-like symptoms and the non-critical treatment of COVID-19 patients. Extra medical ventilators have been requested from the Dutch government”, according to a written statement.

When asked if any hospital employees have symptoms or if they are in quarantine, the hospital responded by saying: “Seeing as the SMMC has the duty to protect patients’ information at all times, the SMMC cannot comment on a subject which involves a patient.”

They do however reiterate what prime minister Silveria Jacobs has already said: the first person infected with COVID-19 – who is currently not a patient at the SMMC – has been in isolation since developing symptoms.

Non-essential care has been scaled back. The hospital will continue to provide essential and emergency care. Examples are the emergency, dialysis, oncology, and obstetrics departments.

To minimize the number of groups, the personnel of the SMMC departments have to rotate between working at the SMMC and working from home for the coming two weeks.

The visitation-hour has been limited to twice a day. Only one person at a time is allowed to visit the patient and children are not allowed. All visitors will be screened using a questionnaire.