St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) gave a tour of its Auxiliary Care Facility (ACF) to Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops and his delegation on Thursday January 7th.
Before touring the ACF, the State Secretary and his delegation were given a presentation regarding the construction of the various COVID-19 facilities since the start of the pandemic and how these evolved over time: from the emergency erection of the ICU Tent and the Mobile Medical Pavilion to the transfer of the ICU Tent to the gym hall of the Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School at the start of the 2020 hurricane season while simultaneously constructing the current ACF.
Also discussed was the construction of the St. Maarten General Hospital (SMGH) as the design upgrade to become Cat 5+ hurricane resistant was made possible by a grant from the St. Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund, funded by The Netherlands and managed by The World Bank.
The financial impact on SMMC in 2020 due to SMMC having to downscale non-emergency care on two separate occasions as a result of the local COVID surges was also highlighted. Lastly, parties were satisfied with the cooperation agreement made since the start of the pandemic with other hospitals within the Dutch Caribbean in coordination with the Dutch Ministry of Health (VWS) aimed at leveraging each other’s areas of strength.
The ACF was created by welding special medically outfitted containers (Hospitainers), donated by the Dutch Ministry of Health, and shipping containers together and securely anchoring them to a solid concrete foundation. The ACF is located across from SMMC and features sixteen (16) beds of which six (6) are ICU and ten (10) are medium-care.
The ACF project was made possible in part by the funds of Trust Fund, funded by The Netherlands and managed by The World Bank. SMMC extends its gratitude to its employees, the Government of St. Maarten, the Dutch Ministry of Health, the World Bank and the AMI team for all of their contributions towards the health and wellbeing of the people of St. Maarten.