Published On: Fri, Apr 3rd, 2020

Senior diabetics complain about SZV and Medicosmetics

PHILIPSBURG – Medicosmetics provides faulty testers for people suffering from diabetes, the Antipoverty Platform and the Consumers Coalition said through their spokesman Drs. Raymond Jessurun at a press conference last week Thursday. SZV acknowledges that there are problems with Medicosmetics but declined to react to the specific allegations Jessurun made during the press conference.

Medicosmetics is established in Cole Bay; its Facebook-page mentions Jan H.R. Beaujon as its director. The company positions itself as “a wholesaler and distributor of ethical pharmaceutical supplies.” Medicosmetics also sells medical health supplements, professional hair and skin products and “home health care supplies from beds to glucose meters.”

According to Jessurun, the company has “an exclusive contract to provide medical supplies to all patients insured with SZV.”

Jessurun said that since October 2019 SZV-insured patients are therefore no longer allowed to get their diabetic materials from pharmacies; instead, after approval, they have to get them from Medicosmetics.

While testers provided by Medicosmetics are cheaper than their alternatives, they appear to be “substandard and not durable,” Jessurun said.

Complaints to SZV did not solve anything so far: “The answer we get is that it has the attention of management and that we will be notified as soon as management has taken a decision.”

In a reaction to the statements made at the press conference, SZV provided StMaartenNews.com with the following reaction: “SZV acknowledges that there are some incoming complaints regarding the service and accessibility of the contracted provider, Medicosmetics. These complaints are not going unheard by SZV and we continue to address these in a productive manner together with the provider. Together we have been able to adjust some procedures to improve the customer experience; however, this is an ongoing process that our teams are working on. The customer complaints have our attention and our objective is to improve the customer experience. We thank our customers for their patience thus far and hope to be able to alleviate some concerns within short.”

SZV Offices - sleep

Jessurun said that complaints were also filed with the Ministry of Public Health and with the Ombudsman, but both instances referred back to SZV. He noted that SZV has been aware of the complaints for six months. “Therefore we have decided to speak out publicly about the abuse that our local seniors have to experience when they protest and look for redress.”

Jessurun mentioned the example of a senior citizen who took two testers to his next glucose test at the laboratorium: his old one (Freestyle Precision) read 120 and his new one (Perfect3) 153. The lab test returned another result, one closer to the reading of the old tester: 122.

But the senior was unable to get strips for his Freestyle tester through SZV, because the insurer informed him that it was getting a new tester from Medicosmetics. The senior pleaded with SZV to provide strips to those who have a Freestyle tester. “These have proven to work well. Our health must be placed ahead of any financial benefits for SZV.”

Said Jessurun: “Is this not a reasonable suggestion? Yet, after six months of unsatisfactory customers no satisfactory decision has been taken yet.”

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Update June 20, 2020: Complaints continue but SZV denies there is something wrong with its glucose testers