Cayhill- In a ruling handed down on May 20, 2013 in a “LAR” case that the St. Maarten Medical Center brought forward late last year against the Inspectorate of Health Care, Judge van Veen decreed that the thirteen orders under the burden of penalties placed on the SMMC by the inspectorate were not justified and the decision of the Inspectorate to that effect was therefore voided.
After the Inspectorate of Health Care issued thirteen orders under the burden of penalties against the SMMC in October 2012, court proceedings were held in November 2012. The SMMC requested the court to put the execution of these orders on hold pending the outcome of a more thorough examination by the court as to whether the conclusions of the Inspectorate were based on sound grounds and whether the orders imposed by the Inspectorate were justified (LAR procedure).
The court at that time indeed ruled in favor of the SMMC and put the execution of said orders on hold.
On April 9, 2013, the so called LAR court procedure mentioned above was held. The presiding judge concluded that all 13 orders under the burden of penalties issued by the inspectorate were indeed insufficiently motivated and based on flawed conclusions drawn by the inspectorate. The decision of the inspectorate regarding these 13 orders was therefore voided by the court.
While the SMMC is of course very happy with this verdict and also feels vindicated, this by no means implies a lack of recognition of the authority and the important role the Inspectorate of Health Care plays towards improving the quality of care in St. Maarten.
But just as this holds true for the SMMC, the Inspectorate of Health also needs to abide by rules.
The SMMC is continuously striving to improve and expand its services to all residents and visitors of St. Maarten and to the population of our sister islands St. Eustatius and Saba.
We look forward to continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Inspectorate of Health and to continue to work together towards achieving a higher quality health care and greater satisfaction among all of our patients.
This press release is accompanied by a copy of the court ruling dated May 20, 2013.