CAY HILL: St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) will gradually expand services as per May 11th since all COVID-19 cases have been treated outside of SMMC and a plan has been implemented to safely restore the care capacity.
Since April 27th, 2020, there have been no new COVID-19 confirmed patients admitted to SMMC and all COVID-19 related care has been transferred to the Mobile Medical Pavilion (MMP) and the ICU tent outside of SMMC where all future COVID-19 care will be administered.
SMMC is currently implementing a plan geared towards gradually resuming non-emergency services to their patients in a safe and responsible way while adhering to guidelines from the local government and international health guidelines.
The plan incorporates social distancing guidelines, a mandatory universal face mask policy, imposing a maximum waiting room capacity and the continuation of the suspension of in-patient visiting hours until further notice in the interest of safeguarding the health of patients and SMMC staff.
A major aspect of the plan is geared towards minimizing patient traffic within SMMC while still being able to offer regular care. This includes a check-point entry where persons will be pre-triaged for COVID-19 symptoms and must present proof of their appointment before being allowed entry. To avoid large crowds on the premises and in the waiting rooms, persons will only be allowed entry to SMMC no more than 45 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time. Persons arriving more than 45 minutes early will not be allowed entry and will be requested to wait off premises.
In addition to this, only persons with appointments, medically indicated companions, parents of minors, translators and spouses/partners of Obstetrics and Gynecology patients will be allowed entry to SMMC and must wear face masks.
Appointments that were cancelled due to COVID-19 and urgent appointments will be given preference over new, non-urgent appointments and thus may result in a longer waiting list for new appointments. Until the end of the lockdown period, persons with appointments are required to have a personal travel waiver (Form B) with proof of their appointment.
SMMC is committed to moving forward and adjusting to the new normal and as such has embraced the concept of tele-consulting. Tele-consulting has been used successfully during the lockdown to perform medical consultations such as giving test results to patients and other consultations via telephone. Upon the end of the lockdown, SMMC will continue to utilize tele-consulting where possible to avoid persons coming to the hospital unnecessarily.
As it pertains to the rendering of services at the Emergency Room (ER), over the next few weeks SMMC will be informing and educating the public via press releases and social media of the procedure and reasons for coming to the Emergency Room as patients often visit the ER for non-urgent medical care which should be administered by their General Practitioner (GP). We will be reiterating that persons should contact their GP by phone prior to visiting the ER and what constitutes an emergency. This is in an effort to reduce the amount of basic and non-urgent medical care given at the ER thus allowing ER staff the time and resources to handle urgent care.
SMMC thanks the general public for their cooperation and understanding and urges anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (Cough, fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and/or loss of taste or smell) to contact their GP or call the CPS hotline (914).