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February 12, 2012
WILLEMSTAD — Patients with sleeping disorders can go to the Taams Clinic as from Monday. The Venezuelan sleep laboratory assistant Alberto Matos will then begin his work. Minister of Public Health Jacinta Constancia (MFK) presented the permit for the sleep center at its opening in November. Only the sleep laboratory assistant had been missing at that time.
Matos will arrive on Curaçao today. He will treat the first two patients on Monday, says general director Ninette van den Berg. Patients can go to the sleep center for the diagnostic, but also for treatment and control. The clinic meanwhile has a waiting list of over 70 persons with sleep-related disorders. “We hope to have overtaken the leeway within one and a half to two months”, says Van den Berg. “Two patients can be admitted per night. We hope to make up the leeway quickly by working as efficiently as possible.”
Matos was trained for sleep laboratory assistant in the United States. He is also authorized to train others. The Taams Clinic recently announced the vacancy for a sleep laboratory assistant in training and will soon also announce this vacancy publicly. Furthermore, the clinic will work together with the St. Elisabeth Hospital (Sehos). The first conversations with the Sehos-management have already been held, says Van den Berg. Lung specialists Echague, employed with Sehos and specialized in sleep-related disorders, could examine patients in the sleep center.
Van den Berg: “Patients must always be referred to the sleep center by a medical specialist, for instance a KNO-doctor, neurologist, cardiologist or lung specialist. A patient is admitted to the sleep center in the medical specialist’s name, namely lung specialist Earl Esseboom – for the time being – who is also chairman of the sleep center business unit, and lung specialist Echague. They will be the main responsible persons for patients during their stay at the clinic. The Sehos also has laboratory assistants who can treat patients with these specific problems.”
The Taams Clinic is divided in business units for a more surveyable operation, says Van den Berg. “Each unit has a separate administration. This way we can keep track of the costs per department and set the rates per treatment. The current rates date from 1986. Nobody can tell us how they were calculated. With the sleep center business unit, a separate department, we can keep track of the costs regarding admission, research, the patient’s consumption, final outcome and completion of the research”, says Van den Berg. The purpose of the sleep center is to develop it to a Center of Excellence, which will also benefit the medical tourist.
The sleep center consists of two rooms. At least 8 percent of the population has protracted sleeping problems. This percentage is partly due to the increasing overweight problem. Especially family doctors, lung specialists, cardiologists, neurologists and KNO-doctors have examined people with sleep and/or sleep-related disorders for years. In the sleep center, patients will be admitted one night for a poly-sommography where the brain activity and various body functions are measured during the sleep. This examination includes the depth of the sleep, breathing, position and in some cases also the snoring sound and its intensity, and the use of head electrodes.