Complaints advisory committee installed by Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (ZJCN)

On the 1st of November 2022, an independent and external complaints advisory committee was installed to provide advice when evaluating complaints from residents of the Caribbean Netherlands in relation to healthcare or youth care.

Members (from left to right) Pierre Perigault Monte, Maartje Molenaar, Astrid McKenzie-Tatem, Frits Goedgedrag, Filia Kramp

Why has this complaints advisory committee been installed?

Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (ZJCN) is part of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and is responsible for healthcare and youth care in the Caribbean Netherlands. ZJCN believes it is important to handle residents’ complaints about ZJCN with due care. All received complaints are handled by the current complaints officer at ZJCN. The complaints officer examines whether complaints are admissible and handles them if they are. There will now be an important addition to the existing complaints procedure as of the 1st of November.  In certain cases, the independent complaints advisory committee can be asked to offer advice when evaluating a complaint.

Who is part of the complaints advisory committee?

ZJCN feels it is important for the complaints advisory committee to be well versed with the situation of the islands and their inhabitants. That is why members of the committee will preferably originate from the region, so that they are familiar with the cultures and circumstances of the Caribbean Netherlands.

A vacancy was advertised and people were free to submit applications. In the end, 5 members were selected and appointed by the State Secretary for VWS. The members are:

Chairman F. Goedgedrag (former governor of the Netherlands Antilles), deputy chairman D.C. Kramp, and members A. McKenzie-Tatem, P. Perigault Monte and M. Molenaar.

None of these people work for ZJCN; they are completely autonomous in their advice. The appointments will last for a period of 4 years, with the option of extending this period twice. The committee will personally decide how it operates.

Regulations in which the committee’s methods have been stipulated will be published shortly. ZJCN supplies the official secretary, who supports the complaints advisory committee. Constituent Act Complaints advisory committee Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands.

When will the complaints advisory committee be called upon?

ZJCN can call upon the complaints advisory committee if it receives a complaint about which further advice is needed. The director of ZJCN will determine when the committee is asked to provide advice about a complaint. Therefore, the complaining party does not get to choose whether or not its complaint will be examined by the complaints advisory committee.

Will residents notice a difference because of the complaints advisory committee?

The complaints advisory committee will organise a hearing when it handles a complaint. The committee will listen to both the complaining party and the defendant during this hearing. The complaints advisory committee will issue advice once it has used this process to gather information about the complaint and the accompanying defence. This advice will be sent to the director of ZJCN. The director will then evaluate the complaint. The complaining party will be informed of this in a letter, which will also be accompanied by the advice of the advisory committee.