On Wednesday 8 April 2020, S. Verstraeten will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Population Health in the Dutch Caribbean. A comparative study of political context and health policy performance’.
This thesis focuses on population health in the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curaçao, as compared to the Netherlands and to other Caribbean states. It aims to provide a better insight into the health situation in the Dutch Caribbean, and the factors related to this health situation, in particular the role of the political context and health policy performance. In order to address this aim, we have made use of data that are derived from cross-sectional health surveys, mortality registration systems, harmonized international databases and country reports and cover theory from the fields of public health, medicine, political science, organization science, economics and sociology.
The main conclusion of this thesis is that the health of the Dutch Caribbean population is poorer than in the Netherlands and other politically affiliated Caribbean states. People in Aruba, and even more so in Curaçao, were more likely to die from causes that are considered avoidable in the presence of timely and effective healthcare and/or interventions in public health and prevention. This suggests that an important aspect contributing to the poorer health outcomes in the Dutch Caribbean is that the local governments have, so far, not optimally addressed their population’s health needs.
The PhD defences will not take place publicly in the Senate Hall or Professor Andries Queridoroon due to the coronavirus. The candidates will defend their thesis online.