THE SAGA CONTINUES at Sint Eustatius Health Care Foundation (SEHCF)

Dear editor,

Thank you for allowing me the space on your forum to express the ongoing saga that we the community of Sint Eustatius is the victim of due to abuse of power, fear, persons sitting on other persons seats and negligence.

On the island of Sint Eustatius, we have one medical center. Even though limited in its services it is what the population relies on for medical care and services and or access to advance and or specialized medical care and services.

It has been years since the community are complaining about the services rendered by SEHCF and the access to specialized and or advance medical care via SEHCF.

To get an appointment with a general practitioner it takes up to four to six weeks after getting the run around. After all the run around and finally receiving an appointment, went to the appointment and was refused to even enter the facility by non-medical professionals. This is a blatant abuse of power. Let me elaborate:

  • Visiting the SEHCF alone today, I was informed that since a member of my household is in isolation, I cannot enter the facility. Not entering the facility in this case means NO SERVICE. No service means no medical attention. Again, medical service was rejected by non-medical staff of the institution that are being paid to provide medical care to the community of St Eustatius. Under who’s instructions, only God knows.
  • Secondly, I was informed that the situation for which I am attending the facility is not an emergency. I asked the individual how she knew that I don’t have an emergency? The ignorant lady told me because I have an appointment. I ask how else can one visit a General Practitioner if they don’t make an appointment? She stated, “sorry but you are not allowed in the facility”.
  • The individual then told me the GGD said “I should be in quarantine and should not be on the road”. I asked since when? And why would GGD tell them that? The ignorant lady then indicated that she is following GGD rules. This is where a non-medical professional working at SEHCF is now sitting on GGD seat and deciding for them.

Since medical service was rejected by the facility, I left and drove to the GGD office. I explained what transpired and indicated that I was informed that GGD was responsible for me not being able to visit nor attend the medical appointment. As I have anticipated GGD had no clue as what I was referring too.

GGD after assessing the information confirmed that I am not in quarantine, nor do I have a reason to be. They further explained that they don’t decide for SEHCF who enters or not enter their facility.

The GGD staff contacted SEHCF to inquire and then SEHCF became very creative in their doings.

It is no secret and is not rocket science to us as patients/ clients of the SEHCF that the sooner one received treatment for their medical situation the better it will be for the patient/client.

Here we have an institution that with their actions and or lack thereof are ensuring that the very persons that they should be serving are not receiving the care that they are entitled to.  SEHCF is getting paid to render a service, while collecting for the services they are rejecting the services to the clients/ patients.

It is as if the inhabitants on this island must be begging for services that are being paid for and that they are entitle to, only to have wrong persons in the wrong positions and abusing their power by deciding who should and should not receive service.

I would like to publicly request the board and management of the St Eustatius Health Care Foundation to:

  • Educate their staff on the purpose, vision, goal and mission of the SEHCF.
  • Train their staff on how to provide adequate services to clients/patients.
  • Educate their staff on their roles to ensure they work and decide within the scope of their roles and not on other organizations roles.
  • Educate their staff on the legal ramifications and consequences as it relates to the refusal of medical care directly or indirectly by SEHCF.

In closing I would like to thank the publishers for allowing me the space in their communication medium to let my voice be heard. I do hope that the SEHCF take actions in rectifying these situations because our people lives are in their hands!

Arlene Spanner-Schmidt

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