INGEZONDEN – Medicare on Statia

By Mercedes Lopes/Statia

ZVK keeps risking the life of patients without putting the needed urgency. My sister Joyce is diagnosed with an unusual medical situation which requires a specific medication to be given to her to stop the Demyelinating of the nerves.  In the pass she was sent to different Dutch Islands.

Guadeloupe found nothing and performed a surgery on the spine to ensure there was no tumor of any kind in which they found nothing.   In Guadeloupe she was given a false diagnosis, which is Quina Eqauna Syndrome, and was given medication which made the situation worsen, and it also worked opposite her disease. She was sent to Columbia, who also give a false diagnosis, and wanted to form surgery on her hands and feet.

After years in Statia not obtaining a proper diagnosis and becoming disabled/bedridden, she was forced to use her own funds to get medical attention in the Unites States with success. Several tests were done, and finally a Neurologist was able to diagnose the case and she was treated accordingly. 

The same day of treatment she felt better and was able to sleep without pain for the first time in years. On the third day she was able to mobilize again.  This medication was prescribed for her to take every three weeks. At one time, without notice from the pharmacy or hospital, she was given a substitute treatment, which awaken the same symptoms she had before being treated with the medicine the specialist prescribed. My sister was walking without any form of difficulties or without the use of devices (crutches/wheelchair). It was immediately that the substitute medicine threw her down where she was not able to mobilize freely and suffered pain all over her body once again. She was told by her specialist (Neurologist) to never take any substitute medicine again or it would kill her.

Now again they didn’t or won’t order the medicine and two days before her treatment the Pharmacy informed/asked her to give permission to order the same treatment that made her sick.   The same IV treatment that her Neurologist in the US advised her not to take.  

All my sister is asking to be sent somewhere where she can receive her treatment or bring the treatment to her, which would be better in this case seeing the situation she is in again. ZVK Bonaire is telling her the medicine is an approved drug, yes, its approved but she gets bad reaction from it and was told by her specialist to never take it again.  

So she is refusing the medication that nearly killed her. 

Do you want my sister to be next on the list of deaths and then words of sympathy telling her family sorry for your loss, it’s unfortunate.  If a family member of yours is in this situation, would you treat them this way? I am sure not; we are all human and everyone should be treated equally by the family or not. My sister is a registered LPN Nurse who has given her life caring for others on Statia for over 40 years and now she needs attention, the system is failing her. The system is failing because of ignorance, power but guess what God has the last say.

Today my sister is declining in her health drastically, cannot walk and the ZVK don’t seem to understand the meaning of URGENCY. Her GP quickly after reviewing her decline made urgent steps to refer her to the USA where they can help her, but ZVK is not understanding the meaning of urgency and informed it is not a country that patients are being sent to a week later of approving the referral to the USA, ZVK informed that the referral was denied based on the above mentioned (human mistake). 

They have this 10.4 art for medical referral where the patient medical will be covered partially but it does not work, and they know it too.  Several persons tried obtaining quotations from medical institutions in the Netherlands and it was declined. 

ZVK knows that this option doesn’t work, but they keep frustrating the people who need help the most. The healthcare system is to help you when you are sick, why patients need to negotiate for medical care to recover when they are supposed to send you away once the care is not available.  It is clear that Money is measured above the health of patients, and this is wrong. 

Imagine they are staying in Bonaire and deciding who and when they must go for medical, yes, measuring money for the life of a human being. Imagine they are chartering a plane for one person to and from St. Maarten when they can book that person with Winair instead of paying a charter for one or two persons.  Imagine sometimes people have to go St. Maarten to two doctors (appointments), they book them to go to one doctor (appointment) and when they return, they send them the following week to the next doctor (appointment) when it can be combined. But they choose to save money on people’s lives. 

Recently the medical system failed a young person who should not have died, and all kind of investigation is set up to save face while everyone knows what the problem are.  Through this situation I realized where the problem lies, this evil person who is staying from abroad and deciding who what and when. 

We blame our local ZVK office, but it is not them. When going into the BES it was said every Island will be handling their own business, but yet Bonaire was given the opportunity to decide our destiny from a distance and that should not be, they don’t even know our situation, they don’t even respect or trust the doctors here on St. Eustatius. At this time, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much doctor Odongo for fighting to get help for my sister.

They are staying in Bonaire, don’t know the situation and are deciding if someone needs a companion or not. I am going to come back on that subject. WE NEED OUR HEALTH CARE TO BE OPERATED OUT OF ST. EUSTATIUS, WE NEED OUR DOCTOR’S TO BE TRUSTED AND RESPECTED. We blame our doctors many times for situations not knowing the inside stories. I know when our doctors are at fault or not. People of Statia/Saba fight for your life, don’t let anyone determine your destiny but GOD, HE alone!!!!!

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