Care Sector Initiates Dialogue


We welcome the news from #MinTVS that he is setting up a national, multi-disciplinary committee regarding the reform in healthcare to evaluate where savings may be found, with AZV, our national health insurance — hopefully, it was omitted from the press release, but there cannot be a dialogue without our national insurer, IMSAN the hospital in SN, FSMA Respaldo the psychiatric branch, SABA homes for the elderly, HAVA the house doctors, the pharmacies, the physiotherapists, the hospital specialists, Aruba Dental Society and the Midwives.

This is a good move and my compliments to the Care Sector for having successfully come together.

If they stay focused on just one goal, their raison d’etre, their reason for being, and don’t deviate or fragmentize, they will do us a great service.

We are lucky. In general, we can say that care in Aruba enjoys a high standard, and people have easy access to high quality, affordable care, in line with World Health Organization’s goals.

Our health care covers practically as much as the coverage provided in the Netherlands, AND at a significantly lower cost AZV-Aruba: USD 21,00 p.p. vs ZVW-NL: USD 30,00 p.p.

But costs will continue to rise due to global reasons. Examples? Aging population, an increase in lifestyle diseases and rising cost of labor.

But even the best system can be improved, and our just announced multi-disciplinary committee will be tasked with finding savings.


I wrote about the subject already a number of times, but educating our people to take responsibility for their own well-being and participate actively in guarding their own health is the key to cost cutting, because then the buck stops at primary care and patients AVOID the more expensive specialists and the super expensive hospital.

Doctor offices will become health hubs focusing on health promotions and not on sickness, our hospital will remain empty!

But that requires new thinking, removed from politics or control, a head-change, a switch in mentality.

This is not a new idea. It is age-old, and it is Chinese:

“In China over a hundred years ago one only paid the doctor when he was well; if you got sick you didn’t pay because the doctor had not done his job which was to keep you healthy. The doctor then treated you for free until you were well again. One would see the doctor on a regular basis for acupuncture, herbs, diet and lifestyle guidance. This was the ultimate model for preventative medicine — I wonder how it would work today, in Aruba.”

We really need to educate our people, to take better care of themselves.

One of my friends, an executive at a Palm Beach resort property was diagnosed with Covid19, and went into quarantine. One of his well-meaning friends advised Vitamin C, and my friend in his eagerness to help his recovery, drank gallons of OJ, raising his blood sugar level crazily, and taking his previously controlled diabetes out of whack. He had to be hospitalized, treated with insulin, did not sleep for 7 days, lost 15 pounds, he thought he would die.

Imagine, how this man could have been helped in primary care if a HEALTH PROMOTION nurse, was on hand to make him a better patient. To educate him. Imagine the emotional savings, the pain savings, and the hard cash savings, by avoiding hospital care.

Aruba’s care sector would like to bring about real change, drawing primary care elements together into neighborhood medical centers, where people are helped faster and better so that there is less pressure on hospital care.  With efficiency and effectiveness increased the demand for specialist care diminishes. And our doctors will be rewarded for keeping sugar levels low in their patient population, and cholesterol levels low, and weight down, by continuously education their patients and monitoring their progress.

Information and prevention are the key to a healthier population and to real savings in health care.

Sources: Top healthcare professionals.


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February 01, 2021
Rona Coster