St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) recently welcomed a new permanent Ophthalmologist, Dr. Benny Oosterhof. Dr. Oosterhof received his education at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital and trained as a retinal surgeon in the Netherlands, where he worked at the Deventer Hospital for the past 5 years.
When asked about his reasons for moving to St. Maarten and working at SMMC, Dr. Oosterhof said “I’ve always wanted to experience working in a foreign country and when I was still a medical resident, I was looking for opportunities in countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Portugal. Then I found out there was a burden on Ophthalmic care in St. Maarten and heard about the Surinamese group that helped establish the Ophthalmology department. This accelerated the decision for me to take this step with my young family and after more than a year of preparation, we decided to make the big move.”
For Dr. Oosterhof, who started his service at SMMC in December 2019, relevant, patient-specific care is of utmost importance. “After more than one year of offering Ophthalmic care at SMMC, the department has a pretty good idea of the suspected prevalence of eye disorders here on St. Maarten and the image is somewhat the same as in the rest of the Caribbean and Suriname. The biggest problem is glaucoma, which is something I want to emphasize not only because of the insidious nature of the condition, but also because of the numbers and the advanced stages that we see at the patients’ first visit. diabetic retinopathy follows closely.”
“I am impressed by the modern equipment that we have today at SMMC and I am proud to say that we have the great advantage of sub-specialties among the rotating Ophthalmologists, allowing us to offer a broad spectrum of Ophthalmologic consultations and offer a high level of eyecare. For the upcoming year I hope we can give lectures and information about the aforementioned subjects to the general public. Our department is on the move and with that in mind, I look forward to our new hospital and increasing the level of care here on St. Maarten.”
SMMC is proud to have Dr. Oosterhof in service and urges patients interested in a consultation to make an appointment by calling the Outpatient Department at: Tel: +(1-721) 543-1111 ext. 1300 or 1378. Appointments can be made from Monday - Friday between 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. SZV patients are requested to obtain a referral letter from their family doctor.