Thursday , December 7 2023

Agreement on complex health care for islands

The Daily Herald reports that Dutch Minister of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports Edith Schippers over the weekend arrived at a far-reaching cooperation agreement with her Colombian colleague Alejandro Gaviria Uribe in relation to the purchasing process of complex care for residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

Schippers and Gaviria Uribe agreed during talks in Bogota to make the procedures of the providing of care by Colombian hospitals easier for patients of the Caribbean Netherlands. This will make the care more efficient and functional.

Schippers visited several hospitals in Medellín and had consultations with the Colombian insurance company Coomeva, which acts as an agent for the Dutch Government and the Caribbean Netherlands, it was stated in a press release issued by the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports VWS over the weekend.

In negotiations with Coomeva prices were set which are “substantially lower” than the usual care tariffs that are in place for foreign patients. Coomeva also applies strict quality and safety criteria. The two Ministers further agreed to streamline the cooperation and exchange of information between the Health Care Inspections of Colombia and the Netherlands, which is important in case problems arise with the treatment of Caribbean Netherlands patients.

Specialist care for residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba is very limited on their island, but also on neighbouring islands. The islands depend on Colombia and other large hospitals for complex orthopaedic operations of for example knees and hips, as well as heart surgery and neurosurgery. It concerns an average of 900 operations per year.

The Dutch Government is responsible for good and affordable health care for residents of the islands, it was stated in the press release. An agreement was also reached on antibiotics resistance. On Schippers’ request Colombia wants to become a leading country in South America in the international approach of antibiotics resistance. The Netherlands has a leading role in the Global Health and Security Agenda which was initiated by United States President Barack Obama in the area of the global combat of antibiotics resistance.

The excessive and careless use of antibiotics, especially in the agricultural sector, is making an increasing number of bacteria antibiotics resistant, which has a detrimental effect on the cure of infectious diseases. These diseases, which were easy to cure until now, are threatening to become deadly again.

Schippers will be attending the four-day Kingdom Health Congress in Aruba which kicks off today, Monday. With her attendance, she hopes to contribute more cooperation in the health care sector in the Dutch Caribbean which in the end would benefit people of all six islands.

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