Saba Health Care Foundation
Since the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in October 2010, the islands of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius received the status of ‘Special Municipality’ or ‘Public Entity’ within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and together they form the Dutch Caribbean, also referred to as the BES-islands. As of January 1, 2011, Saba residents are insured through the health insurance Zorgverzekeringskantoor BES (ZVK).
Saba is the smallest island of the Dutch Caribbean and has about 2000 inhabitants. The tranquil and beautiful island, known as the Unspoiled Queen, rises from the ocean with an impressive 887m (2,877 ft.) and is 13 km2 (5 mi²) wide.
About Saba Health Care Foundation
Our foundation was established on the 14 th of December 2009, a founding process under leadership of the Dutch Ministry of Health.
In January 2011, all staff of the Medical Center was honorably discharged from services by the Public Entity Saba (Openbaar Lichaam Saba) and employed by SHCF. All job descriptions were re-evaluated via the Dutch healthcare model, and a Dutch Caribbean salary structure was set.
In 2012 the first two-year collective labour agreement for healthcare institutions on Saba and St. Eustatius was established, which is still continuating strong today together with our partners: Auxiliary Home St. Eustatius, Benevolent Foundation Saba, and St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation.
Healthcare by Saba Health Care Foundation
Saba Health Care Foundation’s (SHCF) medical care is provided to the community of Saba in the A.M. Edwards Medical Center in The Bottom. Our patients consist of local residents, medical students and faculty from the Saba University School of Medicine, and tourists visiting the island for leisure or business.
Three island physicians, Dutch trained and BIG certified General Practitioners, together with a team of nurses render general practitioner care via our outpatient clinic, hospital care via our admission department and 24-hours emergency service including ambulance service and medical assistance in case of accidents and disaster (GHOR; Geneeskundige Hulpverlenings Organisatie in de Regio).
Our team of Home Health nurses and care assistants provides seven days a week home healthcare. SHCF supplies radiology, ultrasound and laboratory service. We also provide hospice care and mortuary service. We have a physical therapist in service and a dentist uses our facility for dental services.
Next to the foundations Island Family Physicians, a variety of medical specialists and visiting paramedics hold clinics at our location.
For further medical treatment patients are referred abroad to receive care. These referrals are mainly to Sint Maarten and Saint Martin but also further away to Colombia and Guadeloupe. Few patients are referred to care providers in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and The Netherlands.
Emergencies that cannot be treated on Saba are sent via 24-hours available helicopter service, to Sint Maarten Medical Center. The distance to the Sint Maarten Medical Center, the closest hospital, is 50km. Emergency medical evacuation per helicopter to Sint Maarten Medical Center takes a minimum of 2 hours from door to door.
SHCF is a nonprofit organization and its purpose is providing and facilitating medical care to the population of Saba. The basis of our foundation is the recognition of the fundamental dignity of clients and patients.
At SHCF the aim is constantly to further improve the quality of our services and our organization; become better and move forward. SHCF targets towards the Dutch standard level of care with a variety of investment, engagement, creativity, flexibility and customization, in which we are continuously learning; change has become a constant factor.
Merger in Governance BFS & SHCF
On April 1 st of 2016 SHCF and the auxiliary home Benevolent Foundation Saba (BFS) joined forces in an administrative merger (Bestuurlijke fusie) with a shared Board of Directors and Supervisory Board.
Although the management teams and staff of both SHCF and BFS remain separate, a closer working relationship has been fostered. To increase efficiency, sharing of human resources has been sought where possible. The support functions from SHCF, such as Finance and Facility have started to (expand) service to BFS. It is the intention that HR of SHCF will also service BFS.
The merger has enabled both organizations to work closer together and facilitate a better integration of healthcare on Saba. This has led to further professionalization and an increase of knowledge and skills of our collective employees.