The Daily Herald writes that the Labour Party PvdA in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Thursday demanded clarity on the increasing number of complaints about the medical referrals of the health care insurance office ZVK for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. PvdA Members of the Second Chamber Roelof van Laar and Lea Bouwmeester have submitted written questions to ministers Edith Schippers of Health Care, Welfare and Science and Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.
The Members of Parliament (MPs) decided to take action following media reports about growing criticism on ZVK where it comes to medical referrals of patients from the islands to hospitals and doctors abroad, as well as a highly critical February 6 letter of Bonaire resident Han de Bruijne to minister Schippers about ZVK’s functioning. Media cited the letter of De Bruijne to draw the conclusion that criticism on ZVK was mounting. In his letter, De Bruijne (67) told the story of his medical referral to Curaçao in connection with an intestinal check-up earlier this year. De Bruijne painted a picture of bureaucracy and poor service by ZVK. The booking of tickets and hotel were not properly arranged as was the daily allowance. He kept being referred back to his general practitioner to solve things and when De Bruijne wanted to file a complaint afterwards, he was faced with a cumbersome procedure.
Van Laar and Bouwmeester asked the ministers whether they recognise the image that was sketched in the media and in the letter. “If so, what measures will you take to mitigate bureaucracy and to improve the service? Which measures have been implemented in the last year to improve the medical referrals to Colombia or surrounding countries and have these measures had the desired effect?” The MPs specifically asked about the role of Coomeva in the organisation of medical referrals from the Caribbean Netherlands. They wanted to know if the ministers were satisfied with this company’s service and if the audit of Coomeva had already been commissioned, as minister Schippers informed the Second Chamber late November last year.