Trade unions have a gloomy view of discussions surrounding a major hospital merger: “No certainty that an agreement will be reached by July 1” (Antwerp)

Trade unions have a gloomy view of discussions surrounding a major hospital merger: “No certainty that an agreement will be reached by July 1” (Antwerp)
Trade unions have a gloomy view of discussions surrounding a major hospital merger: “No certainty that an agreement will be reached by July 1” (Antwerp)
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Antwerp

Many hurdles still have to be overcome to achieve a merger between the Antwerp hospital groups ZNA and GZA. The hospital unions have a gloomy view of the talks and wonder whether the merger will still happen. Normally it should have been completed today, but that did not work out. July 1 is now the new target date.

The non-profit organizations behind the Antwerp hospitals ZNA and GZA want to merge into the non-profit organization Ziekenhuis aan de Stroom (ZAS). By joining together, they want to offer better basic care and highly specialized care close to home. The two groups have been working closely together for six years and the merger should make that cooperation even closer, but the operation is not going smoothly. In fact, the merger should have already been completed: the initial merger date was January 1, but that was postponed to April 1, which is today. But there are still hurdles to be overcome. July 1 is the new target date for the merger to be completed. But the unions have their doubts.

READ ALSO. Merger between ZNA and GZA postponed again: no agreement yet with doctors on financial arrangement

“This causes uncertainties and frustrations. People wonder whether that merger will still happen,” says Ken Van den Heuvel of the ABVV – BBTK to ATV. “We try to remain hopeful, because steps are being taken. But there is no certainty whether there will be an agreement between the doctors and the Belgian competition authorities in July. As long as the agreements are not there, everything will remain unchanged.”

Competent councilor Els van Doesburg says he is waiting for the green light from the Belgian competition authorities. There should be more clarity by the summer holidays.

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Trade unions gloomy view discussions surrounding major hospital merger certainty agreement reached July Antwerp

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