SMMC must report calamities, and specialists employed by SMMC must comply with an establishment regulations.
PHILIPSBURG:--- The Court of First Instance ruled in favor of the Inspectorate on Friday, July 14th in a case filed by the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) who felt they do not have to report cases of calamities to the Inspectorate. A calamity is when a patient suffers severe injuries or loss of life after being treated at SMMC.
The Inspectorate had issued a penalty after they found that SMMC was not willing to report cases of calamity and they were employing specialists illegally at the healthcare institution. SMMC filed an appeal against the decision of the Inspectorate. SMMC is of the opinion that the Inspectorate is not authorized to act against the institution regarding the establishment and illegal employment.
In the case of non-compliance with the establishment requirements for specialists the judge ruled that part of the adequate care to be provided by SMMC can only be given by qualified and competent doctors who also comply with all establishment requirements before they are allowed to work at SMMC and that the Inspectorate is authorized to enforce compliance on SMMC and issue penalties. The court also concluded that SMMC was in violation of the established procedures.
With regards to the reporting of calamities, the court concluded that the obligation to report those has legal grounds and that the Inspectorate is authorized to demand mandatory reporting within a specified time frame. According to the verdict handed on Friday, it states that the Inspectorate had given clear clarity to SMMC regarding the reporting of calamities in February 2013. The SMMC also has the obligation to report even if in doubt whether a case is a calamity or not, this would give the Inspectorate the time to properly investigate such cases. The court also stated that there was no written agreement on the term to report in 2016 when the penalty was imposed, therefore the judge deemed the penalty null and void. The court decline to go deeper as parties are currently discussing the terms.