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Wednesday, 20 February 2013 10:36


WILLEMSTAD — The Jellinek Retreat Curaçao, located next to Kurá Hulanda Lodge at Westpunt, has closed for an indefinite period of time. The website from the clinic for care and treatment of drug addicts states ‘we still believe in the concept that the clinic offered on Curaçao’, but the ‘marketing circumstances have changed drastically’.The report on this website further states that this decision had already been taken on January 1st and that various possibilities will be studied in the coming period to set out a new course. “Until we have more clarity on our new course, it’s not possible to travel to our clinic on Curaçao. We will complete all planned aftercare activities and treatment programs for former clients from Jellinek Retreat Curaçao accordingly.” Information on the new steps to be taken will be communicated via the website.


On being asked, Jacob Gelt Dekker, co-initiator of the luxurious retreat for care and treatment of drug addicts on Curaçao, replied he truly regrets this. Gelt Dekker explained that the most important cause to close the clinic on Curaçao lies with the government but he also raised an accusing finger at the current Health Inspector, Jan Huurman.

“It’s a pity that the ministries work at cross-purposes. The Ministry of Economic Development has been working on medical tourism for years and made a tariff exemption possible, while simultaneously the Ministry of Health does everything to bar foreigners. The government committee Medical Tourism worked seven years to make medical tourism possible. The government determines the policy, not Huurman. The inspector is to hold his tongue when it comes to policy. This is not his business.”

One of the problems Jellinek was confronted with regards the inspection of diplomas with which also the doctors working at the luxurious clinic must comply. It took two and a half years before that inspection took place. This was one of the reasons for inspector Huurman to severely reprimand the Jellinek clinic.

“But there was no inspector. Not until Huurman was appointed and the Health Inspection hadn’t been able to inspect diplomas in the last two and a half years. Now the applicant is the victim because there was no inspector available all that time. This is the world turned upside down”, said Gelt Dekker.

However, there was more obstruction. “Jellinek also had to battle with the insurance companies. The media had reported on this in detail. It’s suggested that the insurances are charged for the luxury. That is absolutely not the case. The patients pay for this themselves. The patient pays 7000 euros of a treatment costing 14.000 euros.”

“The ‘harassment from Huurman’ was for that matter the last drop that made the cup run over, according to Gelt Dekker. “Jellinek is currently consulting with its lawyers to hold the ministry and Huurman personally liable for the damage. There is absolutely no doubt about the malicious intention, and Huurman can explain that before the judge.”

The harassment from Huurman

On being asked about the aforementioned, Health Inspector Jan Huurman replied as follows: “The Jellinek on Curaçao committed numerous violations, and not just any violations. We’re talking about serious violations requiring severe punishments. We chose to stop these practices. We could’ve also approached the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”

Huurman lists everything the Inspection had come across at the Jellinek: “Violations of the (temporary) National Regulation Limitation of Establishment of Medical Professional Practitioners. They should have applied for an exemption. The inspection of diplomas is a must, and it is the responsibility of the physician or medical specialist to arrange this in advance. Contrary to what Gelt Dekker stated, there was an inspector who could do the inspections. The Jellinek itself should have reported its doctors. Then there’s the violation on medical care itself. The medicines found and prescribed there were illegal so we confiscated these. The pharmacist, who had imported these medicines, was also tackled.”


Eventually the Jellinek on Curaçao had complied with all rules, said Huurman, so there was no reason for the clinic to close, as regards the inspection. “I actually suspect the reason lies with the ‘changed market circumstances’. If there’s insufficient demand for such treatments, there’s no reason to continue the business.”

As regards Gelt Dekker’s remark about possible legal proceedings, also against Huurman personally, the inspector stated ‘to find it very interesting to be summoned for performing his duty’.