The Daily Herald writes that Dutch Minister of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports Edith Schippers stated in a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday that findings of the FWG Trend Report on health care in the Dutch Caribbean are “familiar” and will be taken along in the process to further improve health care on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
This was a response to the FWG Trend Report about developments in health care in the Caribbean Netherlands and also in the countries Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. The report was published early December last year.
Parliament’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations had asked for a response to the report. At the initiative of Member of the Second Chamber Roelof van Laar of the Labour Party PvdA, the committee will have a meeting behind closed doors with a delegation of FWG on March 4 to discuss the report, its findings and recommendations.
According to Minister Schippers, the recommendations in the report are “in line” with the policy of the Dutch government regarding health care in the Caribbean Netherlands. “The recent FWG report clearly indicates, on the one hand, things have positively changed in the area of health care in the Caribbean Netherlands, but, at the same time, it shows that there is still work to do,” she stated. The minister was positive about the report. “The Cabinet is of the opinion that it sketches a balanced view of the situation. Luckily, the conclusion that health care in the Caribbean Netherlands is positively developing is shared by the people on the islands,” she stated, referring to the December 2013 research to measure people’s experiences with the public entity status. The themes that were qualified in the FWG report as important, namely, public health and prevention, medical referrals, “forgotten groups,” first line care, chain care, quality and labour market in the health care sector, are almost similar to the ones identified by the work group that Schippers installed last year.
The Work Group Health Care Caribbean Netherlands will receive the FWG report so it can play a role in the meetings of this work group. The minister said she was looking forward to the advice of this work group on the long-term development of health care on the islands.
Schippers remarked that Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, as autonomous countries within the Dutch Kingdom, were responsible for their own health care policy. “Naturally, I am keeping a keen eye on the developments in health care, but at an appropriate distance.” The minister said that the point of view of the Dutch government concerning health care in the overseas countries as put forward in 2013 was still valid. Cooperation between the countries in the Kingdom in this area is useful, but can only be successful if the (overseas) countries have their internal health care policy in order. Cooperation is also dependent on the situation of the local hospitals and other health care institutions.