SP leader Lilian Marijnissen does not want regional hospitals to disappear from the Dutch landscape. “It is very important that a regional hospital is close by,” she says in Good Morning Netherlands on NPO 1.
It is becoming increasingly common for regional hospitals to close their doors. Care is being moved to the larger cities, because care could be better organized there. It is a trend that Marijnissen wants to put an end to. “Whether it is in Zutphen, Sneek, Zoetermeer or Heerlen; In so many places, parts or entire hospitals are being closed. The argument of ‘that’s good for healthcare’ only applies to all specialist care,” says Marijnissen.
Did you miss Good Morning Netherlands? Watch this broadcast now here, via NPO Start.
She thinks it’s fine that people have to travel for specialist care, but she is upset that maternity wards or emergency departments are being closed. “Those kinds of things should be close to home. It’s important to have that close by. That is nice for the family members, it saves on travel costs, safety and quality of care. That must be nearby.”
‘I’m angry about that’
The question is whether the SP leader’s request is feasible, given the great shortage of hands at the bedside. Marijnissen thinks there is no alternative. “You are going to give birth anyway, so care must be provided. Even if you have a heart attack, you should receive that care.”
Marijnissen wants to keep care, including the staff, as close as possible. She is against centralization. “I’m angry about that,” says the SP leader. “In The Hague they are talking about facilities in the region. They all think that is important. And then at the same time we see that it is health insurers who decide that part of a hospital will close. Without involving the people. It is very important that a healthcare or regional hospital is close by.”
Marijnissen wants to get rid of health insurers having the key to closing the doors of hospitals. “Hospitals are being dismantled. As a result, more and more hospitals are disappearing in the Netherlands.”
Healthcare costs still affordable?
Healthcare costs are becoming increasingly higher. According to the group leader, regional hospitals can be a solution to this. “I believe that if you provide care nearby, you can save costs. Because then you have much more involvement from people in the neighborhood. I believe that small scale works as a counterpart to large scale.”
An example of this is a care community center. SP started this initiative some time ago. Then the neighborhood comes together to care for the elderly, for example. “It belongs to the neighborhood and was conceived together with the neighborhood,” says Marijnissen. “It is a healthcare system without bureaucracy. The people on the work floor simply determine what is needed every day. I believe in that very much.”
Text continues under X
There is such a care community center in Oss, Marijnissen’s hometown. Initiator Marie-Therese Janssen is proud of the care community center. “We cannot provide very serious care, but anyone who needs care can come here.”
CU leader Mirjam Bikker wants to tackle informal care: ‘The majority of care starts at home’
By: Vick ten Wolde