St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is collaborating with Saba Healthcare Foundation and St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation for continued and improved healthcare for Saba, Statia and St. Maarten, reports The Daily Herald. SMMC and representatives of the two foundations met on Monday; over the past two months, these collaborating parties agreed on key initiatives to better serve the populations of the islands. One of the initiatives is setting strategies for the hiring of medical professionals. Considering the growing populations of the islands, it became necessary to increase the number of medical specialists working at SMMC. Already, a gynaecologist/ obstetrician from SMMC is travelling regularly to Saba and Statia to provide medical care to women. In January 2014, this overseas medical service will be expanded with a SMMC oncologist treating patients on Saba.
Sharing of personnel from either organisation in this collaboration is not limited to medical specialists, but also takes place in other areas such as hygiene, quality care and maintenance of facilities and medical equipment. Educational resources are another element of this continued collaboration. SMMC’s education department provides accelerated courses for nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses on the three islands. Educational training for non-nursing staff will also be provided on Saba and Statia.
This extended collaboration has officially been named “We Care Together,” derived from SMMC’s slogan “We Care!” SMMC is said to recognise its role as primary centre for health care for residents of Saba and Statia. While SMMC and the Saba and Statia health care foundations are seeking to meet the basic healthcare needs of their populations. The agreement is to open avenues and strengthen efforts to further develop plans for sustainable health care for the Windward Islands, it was stated.