Business View Caribbean | May 2019

44 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN MAY 2019 here, on St. Maarten, but the hurricanes devastated our facilities; it’s just recently that we put our lights back up. We want to make sure our young athletes have good programs and facilities to excel in the area of sports.” BVC: How will you make healthcare more accessible for St. Maarten residents? PM: “We have been working on a huge general health insurance project with the assistance of PAHO (Pan-American Health Organization). The law to establish General Health Insurance is actually finalized and is going to parliament for vetting. The main thing we were looking for is to ensure that everyone has the basic ‘universal’ healthcare package coverage, and that the cost of prescription drugs is lowered. There’s been a lot of debate about whether we could afford it. PAHO has helped us see what is available, regionally, in the Caribbean, what we can learn from the best practices of the other islands, and how we can implement it here. It should be approved shortly and our Minister of Health is eager to introduce it to our community.” BVC: What are the most important goals for your administration? PM: “Resiliency. Our goal is ensuring we build back St. Maarten more resilient, and better, and sustainable. Administratively, we have challenges with that, but we are putting them in order. It’s a process. I want to emphasize that recovery is not a sprint, it is a marathon, and we need patience to ensure we are improving the areas we are weak in, and to ensure we are well protected in the future.”