Letter by sint maarten medical center to inspectorate
HBN Law SINCE 19~8 Associatet! Ilh Pels Rijckcn & DlOoglcevcr FortlliJn. Thc Haguc. Thc NetherlantlsBcatrÎxqraat ~R Ka)a Gobcmador N. Debrot 71 L.B. Smithpkill 3 W.G. BlIncampcr Road 33Oranjcstad Krakndijk WiJlcmswd PhilipshurgAruba Bonaire Cur.açao Sint MaartenPhonc: +(297) 5~!i 6060 Phol1c: +(599) 717 6944 Phonc: +(5999) 4343300 Pholle: +(599) 5422272Fax: +(297) 5~!i 6668 Fax: +Ci99) 717 5628 Fax +(5999) 4343355 Fax: +(599) 542 -D81e-mail: info@hhlllaw.[om e-mail·Înfo@hhnlaw.col1J e-mail: Illfo@hbnlaw.C(lll e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.hbnlaw.com Via courier and telefax (542-2936) The lnspectorate of Public Health attn. Dr. E.W.A. Best, Inspector General Kanaalsteeg 1, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Sint Maarten, September 12, 2012 Re: Sint Maarten Medical Center Dear Or. Best, Sint Maarten Medical Center Foundation, hereinafter to be referred to as "SMMC", has requested me to react to your letter dated September 8, 2012, whereby you gave notice to SMMC of the decision by the Inspectorate to put SMMC under "higher supervision" as of September 8, 2012 for a period of one year and whereby you threatened to impose fines on SMMC, or take other coercive measures, in case of non-compliance. The first striking element of your letter is that it fails to refer to any ordinance, regulation or enforcement framework on which the abovementioned decision and its implications can be and have been based. This is all the more striking since your office was abIe and willing to provide a list of (supposedly) applicable ordinances and other documents to members of the local media. This list, if correct at all, is neither specific as to the legal basis for the measure of "higher supervision" and for the implications of this measure, nor as to the legal basis for the imposing of fines and/or for the closing of functional units. Our review of the ordinances which have the most relevance in this matter has neither revealed any basis for the measure of higher or intensified supervision of a medical institution Iike SMMC or for the implications of such measures. The above leads to the preliminary conclusion drawn by SMMC that the decision mentioned in your letter of September 8, 2012 is either contrary to written law or in conflict with general legal principles, the latter for instance because the decision has not been substantiated properly and was taken in violation of the requirement of due care (in Dutch: zorgvuldigheidsbeginsel). This violation includes but is not limited to the genesis of the decision, such as the unprofessional way in which the draft report
HBN Law SINCE 1938containing many factual errors was circulated, the lack of hearing both sides in thatregard and the unreasonable refusal of the request by SMMC for a short extension ofthe term for providing areaction to the draft report.Unless and until you have provided SMMC with a proper legal justification and, if theJatter exists at all, with a proper substantiation of your decision, SMMC will notrecognize same as being valid and will not cooperate with same.Please be advised in this regard that SMMC does not share your opinion that yourdecision cannot be appealed under the Ordinance on administratîve justice (Lar).SMMC is of the opinion that your decision is without any doubt subject to such appeal.and in fact intends to file such appeal within the shortest possible term. SMMC will alsoconsider to request the court to suspend your decision pending the handling of theappeal case.Furthermore, SMMC strongly takes exception to the fact that you have divulged youriII-considered decision to the local media behind its back, thereby creating yet anotherwave of unnecessary unrest in the community regarding the functioning of the hospitaIand also to the fact that the provision by dr. Scot of his own assessment dated August2012 and sent on September i h including an improvement plan to the Inspectoratehas deliberately been ignored by your office in the report as weil as in the pressrelease of September 10, 2012, whereby the erroneous impression was created thatSMMC is not committed to pursue improvements.You are herewith summoned to refrain from making further public statements while theabovementioned issues have not been clarified and without first consuiting SMMC.and from performing further acts which suggest that your office lets itself be used as apoliticaI tooI.Since it is abundantly clear that the phenomenon of "higher supervision" does not evenexist in this context, since the connotation of the term "higher supervision" is, as youshould have known, extremely ominous and leads to widespread misconceptions andto a lack of confidence and motivation both internally and externally, and since the useof this term is therefore highly irresponsible, you are also summoned to, within 2 daysas of the date of this letter, publicly rectify your earlier public statement(s) indicatingthat SMMC has been put under "higher supervision".Your possible disregard of the abovementioned summons williead to appropriate legalmeasures to be taken by SMMC and to holding country Sint Maarten fiable for alldamages resulting from your actions or omissions.SMMC is in the process of preparing a comprehensive reaction to both the draft andthe final version of the audit report.