PHILIPSBURG -- Caretaker Minister of Health, Labour and Social Affairs VSA Chris Wever told Members of Parliament (MPs) in Friday’s meeting that the financial status of Social and Health Insurances SZV is stable.
This meeting was the continuation of the meeting adjourned on February 22 after a short presentation by then-Minister of VSA Emil Lee.
Wever addressed the MPs with his support staff consisting of the SZV legal advisor, corporate secretary and chief executive officer, and the legal advisor for the VSA cabinet.
In his response to the enquiry on the absolute amount of the SZV funds, Wever said that from the overall view of all funds combined, SZV is financially stable. However, he stated, “When considering the lack of financial stability and sustainability of the health care funds and a necessity to continue coverage on the island, there are loans between funds.”
Wever explained that this practice had been inherited from the Social Security Bank SVB during the time of the Netherlands Antilles. In accordance with the annual audited accounts of 2018, the funds for the negative reserve FZOG and ZV/OV borrowed a total of NAf. 191.7 million from funds with positive reserves AOV/AWW, Cessantia, and AVBZ.
“There are no official loans between individual funds,” Wever told the MPs. “The overall balance of all funds combined is NAf. 419.6 million positive.”
The breakdown of the 2018 year of equity lists that AOV has NAf. 386.1 million, AWW has NAf. 121.3 million, Cessantia has NAf. 13.9 million, AVBZ has NAf. 90 million positive reserves. The negative reserves listed FSOG with NAf. 24.5 million and ZV/OV with NAf. 167.2 million.
Wever said the government’s debt to the social insurance service provider is currently at NAf. 91.6 million. In the next phase the intention is to establish a method of repayment. A large part of this debt settlement was the selling of the new government administration building to SZV.
Wever also stated that SZV has established and approved its investment policies in 2016. The primary goal of the policy is to manage the reserves of the funds that fall under SZV’s responsibility. “In accordance with its investment policy SZV can invest up to 40 per cent of its total investments portfolio locally,” he said.
One of the current issues stated by the insurance provider is the high numbers of medical referrals abroad. Wever said this results in an increased workload for the medical referral department at SZV. One of the problems experienced is patients’ non-adherence to policies.
“Patients are not adhering to instructions given by their treating physician, there is a misuse and abuse of the facilities, and reports of patients displaying disrespectful behaviour towards doctors, nurses and international assistants,” he said. “SZV has had some patients barred from hospitals and hotels, resulting in relocation.” He said SZV is continuously working on quality control and customer service to address such complaints.
“SZV has submitted several proposals to the Ministry of VSA to adjust the related legislations where bottlenecks are experienced in the execution of these legislations, to minimise complaints from customers and our stakeholders.”
With the commencement of the programme all patients will be obligated to complete a survey to access the services and care received while abroad that SZV renders to clients.