Dialysis Could Become Reality on St. Eustatius

State Secretary Blokhuis feels that a merger of QMBC and the Auxiliary Home, as well as a new governance structure would be conditions for dialysis to start happening in St. Eustatius. Photo: Harald Linkels

State Secretary Blokhuis feels that a merger of QMBC and the Auxiliary Home, as well as a new governance structure would be conditions to make dialysis possible in St. Eustatius. Photo: Harald Linkels

By Harald Linkels

Oranjestad- The treatment of Statians suffering from Kidney disease, by means of dialysis on the island, could be within reach. This much can be deducted from a letter of Paul Blokhuis, dated on September 21, to the member of the Dutch Second Chamber.

Blokhuis writes in his letter to the Chamber: “Following the letter to your Chamber from Ms K.H. (Khanya Houtman, editor) in St. Eustatius dated 25 October 2016, about the possibility of setting up a dialysis center on St. Eustatius, the Chamber requested a response to her proposal. In the letter dated 23 December 2016, a first reaction was given to this. In the meantime, the independent investigation announced in that response has taken place and subsequently a business case has been carried out. In the appendix of this letter you will find the results of the research and the business case. In this letter I respond to the results and recommendations in these documents”.

According to Blokhuis, the investigation shows that both the interviewees from the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), the St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation (SEHCF) and the interviewed patients are positive about the possibility of dialysis on St. Eustatius. This under the condition that the necessary provisions are made, and it is set up in such a way that the quality and continuity of the care is guaranteed.

Merger and new Governance Structure needed
Blokhuis feels however, that dialysis is not yet possible in the present situation and in existing facilities. “During my visit to the SEHCF and conversations with the director, I emphasized that I am prepared to invest in the new and / or renovation plans of the hospital. A precondition for this is, however, is an administrative merger with the adjacent nursing home and a matching governance structure”, according to Blokhuis.

In the opinion of the State Secretary, the merger of both institutions and a new governance structure would be able to handle new responsibilities, such as a dialysis unit. Blokhuis also informed the Chamber that, after the baseline study has been completed at the latest in the first quarter of 2019, concerned will meet and make appropriate agreements about the measures to be taken, as wel as indicate the timeline associated with the process. Blokhuis promises the Chamber that he will keep Parliament informed about the progress made.

Houtman in 2016 had written a letter to then-minister of Public Health, Edit Schippers about the ordeal of kidney patients in Sint Eustatius, based on the experience with her father, a kidney patient at the time.

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