St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) officially opened its brand new, state-of-the-art MRI department, dubbed the MRI Suite, during an opening ceremony on May 19, 2021 which was attended by several staff and invited guests including the Minister of VSA, Omar Ottley.
The MRI Suite, which is part of SMMC’s Radiology Department, has been a project that started last year with the lease of a special MRI housing unit in the Netherlands and MRI machine from General Electric in the United States.
SMMC’s Medical Director Dr. Felix Holiday stated during the opening ceremony: “We are proud to have completed another medical care expansion project that continues to deliver on our strategic objective of providing quality care, close to home for the community on St. Maarten and surrounding islands. As we continue building the St. Maarten General Hospital (SMGH), we will not wait with offering medical expansions until we officially open the doors of the new hospital. Instead, we will continue to add services and improvements to SMMC so the community can benefit from those now. The entire SMMC team did a great job and I would like to thank each and everyone for their part in making the MRI Suite a successful reality”, concluded Dr. Holiday.
SMMC’s Supervisory Council Vice Chairman Jim Rosen said: “Not only will the MRI Suite bring down the country’s cost of referrals abroad but also provide much more convenience to the community as travelling abroad for medical procedures is never a fun thing to do”.
Speaking on behalf of the Government, Inspector General at the Inspectorate of the Ministry of VSA, Dr. Earl Best stated: “We congratulate the entire SMMC team for a great job in getting the MRI facility constructed and operational and we trust that you will take good care of it”.
The project was complex as it had many moving parts due to the sourcing of equipment from both Europe and the United States while construction of the MRI Suite at SMMC was ongoing. “Timing was of the essence”, explained Erika van der Horst SMGH’s Project Manager who is also in charge of all biomedical equipment sourcing for the current and new hospital. “Furthermore, the hoisting of the MRI machine through a tight open section on the roof of the MRI suite was a meticulous exercise but well executed by the local construction team!”
The general public is hereby advised that MRI exams can only be requested by an SMMC specialist.