Friday , March 1 2024

Opinion: Sabans deal with heartless doctors

Dear Editor,

Please allow me space in your paper to tell of the kind of medical care that we Sabans are getting here on Saba and the heartless doctors that we have to deal with.

My name is Beatrlx Zagers, I am not going to hide behind any false name, because what I am saying is the truth. I fell 16 weeks ago, I was in torture and the doctors knew it. Neither injections nor tablets helped my pain. I was X-rayed on Saba with a machine that doesn’t work anymore; when an X-ray machine can’t show a broken bone that means that it should be replaced with a new one. I asked both doctors if they could send me to do an MRI or a CT scan and both refused to do so.

I then decided to go at my own expense and find out what my problem was, but they must have heard about my plan and then it was decided to send me via the Health Care.

And guess what! I have fractures and pinched nerves. This is not the first time that I have been neglected by the doctors as six years ago I needed a thyroidectomy and all that I heard was, you have to wait. I then made my appointment with an endocrinologist in Puerto Rico, went and had my problem taken care of within one week, but of course it was at my own expense.

I am a person who seldom ever visits the clinic on Saba, only when it is serious illness and that is the kind of care that I get. We the people of Saba are left to deal with one doctor most of the time, while our population has grown tremendously. We need at least three doctors in order for us to get the care we need. Lack of interest for sick people is so thick that you can cut it with a knife. All you hear is that you are old.

I must say that I feel that what Geert Wilders said about the BES Islands many other Dutch people think the same, there is no respect for us. Before I end, I want to thank Nurse Naomi and those who transported me around in the car and wheelchair here on Saba and a thank you to the workers of Accessible Ventures in St. Maarten. Their kindness is greatly appreciated.

Beatrlx Zagers, Saba

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  1. Finally somebody not afraid to speaks the truth. We all deserves to be treated with more dignity and respect and everyone know if you from Holland you is treated with a red carpet and given any medical note that you want and time off work for as longs as you want but the rest of us sits here is made to feel foolish and suffers. Enough is enough.

  2. I can only reply on my own experiences….I have had nothing but good care from the local medical services here in Saba. The doctors seem to try their best to service us and handle all avenues of health care within. Remember they are general practioners, not specialists, and you do have the right for a second opinion from what I understand, so ask for this!
    My personal care has been from a simple cold to a fall from some 30 feet, which was very recently. And the care I got was unmatched in care,sympathy, and pain management.Not to forget being carried some 120 steps up to the road, flown by helicopter to SXM with a nurse by my side the whole time! I could not be more appreciative of my handlings!
    But must admit the fact that since Holland took over, they have taken things from us that they get back home! Dental care for one. And we have an amazing healer in SXM Michelle Bowers…who cured a 30 year chronic injury for me. Well needless to,say they discontinued her visits. Funny how as an aging would think preventive would be as important as anything, since it saves in the long run… I simply pay to,see her myself, as I can afford the visits on occasion…..I have learned to take the good with the bad. And there is so much more good!
    I feel for your experience here, and only wish you the best in health and health care forward!

  3. About time dome one make a statement. This has gone om farrr to long!!!

  4. true Saban to the bone

    It is shameful what is happening on Saba. Saba is falling into the hands of some that do not have Saba at heart. they are only out for themselves. they come to our island to only rake and scrape for themselves. to make fortunes and to build like the Egyptians used to build back in the days. they could care less about the patients, they diagnose you without even examining you. picture this, Where else in the world can the head of the public health department also hold the function as beibng the spouse of one of the doctors? if there is a complaint who do you complain to? how can you complain spouse to spouse. that would be like going to hell to complain the devil. Talk about conflict of interest! the biggest conflict of interest ever heard of is right here on Saba at the Saba health department.

  5. Concerned Saba

    Saba is the only island I’ve lived on where people openly joke about how bad the doctors are!!! It is routine for someone to say, “you want antibiotics, just ask Dr. Koot!” or “you need a pain narcotic, just see Dr Koot!” It’s also the only place I’ve been, and I’ve lived many places in my years, where people with FREE healthcare choose to PAY to fly somewhere else and get expensive healthcare, because the care at home is so bad! The Saba Healthcare isn’t afraid. This happens openly! Dr. Koot isn’t afraid of his wife, his wife isn’t afraid of being sued or losing anything, because where else will we go. There is no other option. Its a real situation, happening right here to our friends and family. Where are the quality control measures? Where are the elected politicians to represent us? Who is going to help us get quality care? Thank you Mrs. Zagers! Bless you for having the courage to voice the danger and negligence! I hope this makes the papers in St. Maarten and Holland!

  6. A Saban response to all the nonsence

    We all know that our health care is taken as a joke. Please them with games and they will obey, as the Romans used to say. Let us believe that we are taken care of and we will be happy. Well I believe that we all have overgrown that way of indoctrination. Daily we know we deal with doctors who are suppose to give you the best care since tis is their mission. What is observed on Saba is that the management and director have taken over the old library and turned it in a state of the art office center (we have 2000 inhabitants). The old cultral building has been taken over and turned into a modern physio center (we have 2000 inhabitants). The hospital has shown little to now improvement after 10/10/10. The director and doctors seems to be satisfied with the hospital conditions while they improved their work circumstances dramatically.
    Just walk through the hospital and look at the ceilings, walls, wards, floors, store rooms etc, and you will notice a 100% change with the office building.
    What I am trying to say is that those in charge care about their own work situation while the patients are looking at the same infrastructure as 20 years ago. So can we conclude that those in charge, including the board members Mr. Sorton, Mr. Scholten and Mrs. Hassell, are having their own priorities, while patients are indeed sent home with a ‘hope you will feel better soon’ message from the general practitioners?
    It would be wishful thinking that on Saba, we would meet outside specialists who would indeed really care about the Saban people instead of their own pockets.