SEHOS and Inspectorate remains mum
WILLEMSTAD/PHILIPSBURG:-- The board of the St. Elizabeth Hospital (SEHOS) has terminated the contract for Dr. Patrick Fa Si Oen, an unregistered surgeon who practiced at the institution for the past 14 years. Some two weeks ago SMN News broke the news that SEHOS had an unregistered surgeon working at the institution for the past 14 years. SEHOS made the discovery after they began investigating another surgeon for carelessness.
When the news broke the management of SEHOS sent Fa Si Oen on two weeks mandatory vacation in order for him to travel to Belgium to see if he could get this registration in order. Already in 2014 Fa Si Oen tried to register in Belgium and the Netherlands where he studied but was denied. However, recently the specialist registration council of the Netherlands dispatched a letter to SEHOS informing them that Fa Si Oen was not a registered surgeon and that if he wants to register he must undergo training. Due to all of this, SEHOS and the inspectorate has no choice but to terminate Fa Si Oen when he could not produce a registration from Belgium last week. Besides that, if SEHOS did not take the necessary measures they would have run a risk with their medical liability insurance company.
While all of the above transpired this past week the board and management of SEHOS are doing their best to hide their decisions under the preverbal carpet while refusing to take calls from media personnel.
Even the Inspector in Curacao began playing a “cat and mouse” game since he chose to leave management and board of SEHOS handle their affairs. SMN News further learned that Dr. Patrick Fa Si Oen has to return to Belgium for surgery training if he wants to register as a surgeon there. However, SMN News learned that Fa Si Oen opted for a court battle against SEHOS and the Inspectorate after lying on several radio stations and newspapers when SMN News broke the story two weeks ago.
In the meantime, the investigation involving Dr. Michel Berry is yet to be concluded.
Due to the lack of surgeons now at SEHOS a well-known and most qualified surgeon on St. Maarten is seeking employment at SEHOS since management of St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) chose not to renew his contract.
While SEHOS clearly took the necessary actions against unregistered specialists the management and Supervisory Board of SMMC is yet to do anything with the quacks they have working at SMMC. Several specialists working locally are also not registered as some specialists also did their specialty in Belgium, Cuba, USA, Ukraine, and other foreign countries but chose not to comply with the requirements to get registered where they studied and based on the current vetting on St. Maarten it is not clear if the foreign specialists or those that are not registered have the equivalent education and training based on the requirements of the Dutch law. One surgeon that is practicing at the SMMC who is not registered is Dr. Felix Holiday, based on the BIG registry Dr. Holiday is only registered as a basic doctor while he has been practicing for years on St Maarten as a surgeon. Another surgeon that has to complete a re-entry program on St. Maarten is Dr. Luc Mercelina in order for him to be able to practice as a full-fledged surgeon that is up to par with current surgical procedures. Even though SMMC and its director have agreed to have Mercelina do the re-entry program he is doing it under the guidance of an unregistered surgeon. It is left to be seen what actions the Minister of Health Emil Lee will take against the unregistered specialists practicing at SMMC to ensure that the people of St. Maarten receives quality health care. It should be noted that the Inspectorate of Health of the Netherlands have been using their microscope to look down at SMMC since patients from the BES islands travel to St. Maarten for medical treatment. SMN News learned that at least 40% of the specialists working at SMMC are not registered where they studied and most of the foreign specialists cannot meet the Dutch (EU) medical criteria to practice medicine within the Kingdom and its countries. At SMMC a radiology technician is practicing as a radiologist who have made gross mistakes causing severe damage to patients, the anaesthesiologist who hails from Ukraine cannot even speak English or Dutch, while there are gynecologists that are not registered.
SMN News will bring more information when the medical director of SEHOS Franke Scheper could be reached by Monday.