A Column about Medical Issues

I read in the newspaper the opposition party airing the Hyperbaric Chamber issue and called Dr Posner for an update.

True, for more than 8 years Aruba was fortunate to have a Hyperbaric Oxygen Producing Environment, H.O.P.E., a considerable private investment by I.A. Posner MD, who was its Medical Director, on Punta Brabo 3, Oranjestad, they helped a lot a people, and saved quite a few body parts.

Then about 2 years ago the costly equipment was sold to another island. Trinidad.

So what’s the situation now? Patients in need of hyperbaric treatment, losing limbs to diabetic issues, suffering from hard to heal wounds, they have to be flown out to Bonaire or Curacao for treatment.

Wow, what happened there, first it was great then it got all screwed up?!

Really an upsetting story. The HOPE center operated three chambers and was certificated by US and Europeans medical boards. The US Navy and the Dutch Marines visited often to make sure the service is available, and then one day our national health insurance, AZV, felt a private doctor shouldn’t profit off the situation, it wanted the hospital to shoulder the task and the center had to close.

BUT, here comes the but…. The hospital never picked up the glove, and the investment was never made, bottom line, our national health insurance still foots the bill, only the centers in Bonaire and Curacao profit, and the Aruban patients suffer the inconvenience of having to travel, their treatment never optimized.

At the end of the day it’s all about the money….The Aruba health services provider recognizes the importance of hyperbaric chamber therapy in wound care, and added it to its basket of available treatments, but we have to travel overseas to find it.

So is the Hyperbaric Chamber a must. I asked.

Dr. Posner explained that in the past, many dive operations related to tourism, insisted on having a chamber available for diving accidents, in cases of decompression sickness, DCS, but those are rare now and far apart, perhaps two cases a year; the divers affected by the bends are usually professional divers who were overconfident, not dive students; the schools on the island became very good at preventing the bends.

There is also another group on the island promoting a hyperbaric chamber for beauty and rejuvenation purposes, but that’s not the same thing!

I understand that the Horacio Oduber Hospital is in talks with the MinHealth to located extra funding, and we’re not sure where these negotiations stand. He is slow to pull the trigger, and while he is busily contemplating the pulling of the trigger, he could also include a radiation center, so that local cancer patients do not have to travel to be treated, and also an interventional cardiology unit; cancer and heart disease are our two largest health costs by far.

They are spending 100million Euro on brick and mortar for the new hospital facility, how about some new useful equipment?


One of my friends asked her house-doctor to fill in a Ritalin prescription for an Adhd-diagnosed child. Are you sure you wanna do that said the doctor, the crazy record will follow your child forever, and create challenges later in life for driving license and mortgage acquisitions.

That doctor must be nuts herself. The medication is prescribed for hyperactive kids, they are not crazy, they are a bit different and must be taught differently and accommodated. What an unprofessional comment from an MD. Very 50s. What about secrecy? Isn’t the relationship between a doctor and his patient governed by secrecy? Our advise, change house doctors, ASAP.