Published On: Thu, Jan 3rd, 2013

Joe Alcalá interim inspector general

WILLEMSTAD — Joe Alcalá (49) replaced Ben Whiteman as inspector general with the Health Inspection. The new minister of Health, Environment and Nature (GMN) confirmed this. Alcalá is a policy worker at the Ministry of GMN, a family doctor and medical advisor at the ambulance service. For the duration of the transition-cabinet Alcalá will be in charge of the Health Inspection. The cabinet was installed on Monday for the period of six months. Whiteman will hold his ministerial post for the Pueblo Soberano.

An appeal for help was made to Whiteman and subsequently to Alcalá. Alcalá indicated it was too early to discuss priorities within the Inspection but he said his task is to guarantee the continuity of the service. “The Health Inspection was understaffed lately but this was solved temporarily when inspector Jan Huurman was recruited. Officially we are still understaffed.” The interim inspector general is to tackle this problem.

The Inspection also includes the departments Medicines, Health Protection and Environment & Nature besides Health Service. These departments require extra staff and to be put more in the picture.  Alcalá: “We’d rather not be in the picture at all.” The Inspection ensures the enforcement of legislation and rules on medicine supply, health care, health protection, and environment & nature. “Regrettably, there are some who don’t observe the rules”, said Alcalá.

Huurman, who joined the Inspection in August 2012 for a period of four months, has increased the observability of the service considerably. He has placed several health institutions under strict supervision. Just before the New Year, his contract was renewed with four months. He will return to the island from the Netherlands tomorrow and expected to resume work on Friday.


Alcalá was born on Curaçao and studied medicine in Groningen. He worked at the St. Elisabeth Hospital and was associated with GGD since 1992 as family doctor and policy worker. Since 10-10-’10 he is a policy worker with the Ministry of GNM and a medical advisor for the ambulance service. He is also a family doctor and works with the Red Cross and Citro.

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