Minister Ottley issues decrees for new mental health care clinic

Minister Ottley issues decrees for new mental health care clinic

Isle Kelbrick-Fürstenburg

By Jacqueline Hooftman

PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley (United People’s Party) has followed the court order of May 3 one month later and issued a ministerial decree for healthcare institution PsyCare BV and two BIG-registered psychiatrists.

Owner of PsyCare BV is Dr. Ilse Kelbrick-Fürstenburg, who specialises in psychiatric disorders and dementia in elderly patients, as well as mental disorders in children and adolescents.
Second applicant Dr. Hendrik Nijdam has an affinity with forensic psychiatry. This is a subfield within psychiatry that focuses on people who have come into contact with the judiciary and who need psychiatric care. Also, Dr. Nijdam focuses on treatment of patients who have become psychotic due to the use of drugs or due to withdrawal symptoms in alcohol addiction.
On behalf of his clients, attorney Charles Rutte of HBN Law had issued the VSA Minister an ultimatum: if the ministerial decrees had not yet been signed at 5:00pm June 3, the court would be requested to impose penalty payments.
One month prior, on May 3, the judge ruled against the VSA Minister in the case of Dr. Kelbrick and Dr. Nijdam and, simultaneously but not merged, against the VSA Minister in the case of PsyCare BV. In each of the two cases, the judge’s ruling overturned the ministerial order of April 29, 2021, by which VSA Minister Ottley had retracted the ministerial decrees of Dr. Kelbrick dated August 13, 2019, and of Dr. Nijdam, dated March 16, 2020.
The court ordered Minister Ottley to allow the two psychiatrists to work in St. Maarten as owner and treating doctors at the new healthcare institution PsyCare BV in Cay Hill, effective immediately.
When asked during the Council of Minister’s press briefing on May 11 whether he would reissue decrees for Dr. Kelbrick and Dr. Nijdam, Ottley said, “We are in discussions with the cabinet and the department on how to move forward. I have been, from the beginning, well, I have been instructed at the end to stay out.”
Ottley did not say who had instructed him “to stay out”.
Ottley sent lawyer Rutte the redemptive message on June 3 just before the deadline of 5:00pm.
As the first article of the ministerial decree states, PsyCare BV is granted permission to operate a health care institution in accordance with the business plan presented in the application of December 10, 2020, which specifically includes outpatient care and treatment programmes, with a focus on treating mental illness by providing psychiatric assessments, prescribing medications, and offering therapies.
The minister has imposed 17 conditions, including, “PsyCare shall contribute to St. Maarten in a positive manner and collaborate with developments aimed at improving healthcare services,” and “PsyCare ensures that continuity of care is guaranteed by means of coordination or collaboration with other care institutions and health insurers.”
The new institution is also required to “constructively cooperate with the other established health care institutions with the aim to form a mental health network that will enhance the quality of available mental health services in St. Maarten.”
Dr. Kelbrick said in an invited comment that she is elated with the permission to work again as a psychiatrist in St. Maarten, after an interval of almost two years. To keep her registration in the Dutch legal, online and public register for Professions in Individual Health Care (Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg), BIG-registration, she followed continuing medical education (CME). This encompasses online educational training, obtaining the points necessary to keep the BIG-registration.
Dr. Kelbrick, who hails from South Africa, has been a general practitioner for more than 22 years and has worked as a psychiatrist for 17 years. She started working at Mental Health Foundation in Cay Hill in 2019, visiting patients at their homes and working closely with elderly patients at St. Maarten White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) in St. John’s.
“I am looking forward to work with other mental health care professionals and organisations in St. Maarten, including Mental Health Foundation in Cay Hill, and would also like to start working with Turning Point Foundation for the treatment of persons who experience psychiatric disorders due to substance abuse,” Dr. Kelbrick said, acknowledging the need for specialised psychiatric treatment in St. Maarten.
“PsyCare provides an addition to the already-existing care on the island, offering treatment for children, adolescents and assistance for elderly patients.”
As a psychiatrist, Dr. Kelbrick focuses on anxiety and mood disorders, personality disorders, transcultural psychiatry and dementia treatment. She emphasised that medication is not the first line of approach for patients suffering from dementia. “Far better results are achieved with guidance and therapy.”
With all kinds of patients experiencing different symptoms, the utmost caution is exercised when prescribing antipsychotics. “It is essential to look at underlying physical conditions, as confusion can have a physical cause and physical conditions can be a counterindication to the use of specific antipsychotics,” Dr. Kelbrick said.
The ministerial decree for health care institution PsyCare went into effect on June 3 and is valid for five years. The decrees for Dr. Kelbrick and Dr. Nijdam are each valid for two years, effective June 3, 2022.

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