On Friday, March 16, 2018 the Ombudsman, Dr. Nilda Arduin met with the Director of SZV, Mr. Glen Carty and the Corporate Secretary, Mrs Ruth Boyrard-Brewster at the Bureau of the Ombudsman. Acknowledging the importance of customers’ satisfaction with the service provided by SZV, the Director requested the meeting to be informed first-hand about the complaints filed with the Ombudsman against SZV.
The purpose of the meeting was to identify and discuss the bottlenecks experienced by the public, with the objective to bring about an improvement in SZV’s services. The Legal Advisor and Complaints supervisor, Ms. Gwendolien Mossel, highlighted some of the main issues people complain about such as the lack of information provision (which often results in unnecessary back-and-forth by SZV’s clients), inadequate organization of services (such as the non or partial response to letters and requests), the late renewal of medical cards, delays in medical referrals and a general sense of incorrect treatment by SZV’s clients. The matter of pensioners, who resided on the French side during their years of labor and worked on the Dutch side of the island, and now cannot collect pension / AOV due to poor registration and control practices in the past, needs government attention.
While SZV is one of the private entities with public authority (‘ZBO’) which have shown improvement in serving the public, as a result of promptly following up on recommendations issued by the Ombudsman, the Director acknowledged that there is room for improvement. In order to rectify some of the issues discussed, SZV is working on new and improved customer service and training for staff. Additionally, the terms of agreements with airline companies and physicians regarding medical referrals need to be discussed.
To create greater awareness regarding propriety in serving the public, a follow-up session for Management and staff of SZV will be organized and facilitated by the Ombudsman.
An internal complaint procedure will be developed to create structure in handling complaints comprehensively. SZV will also facilitate an information session for staff of the Ombudsman Bureau, focusing on its procedures.