Professor leaves Maastricht hospital over "North Korean conditions"

Interior view of the central atrium of the Maastricht university hospital MUMC+
Interior view of the central atrium of the Maastricht university hospital MUMC+Photo: Kleon3 / Wikimedia Commons

A professor at the university medical center in Maastricht is no longer the head of the Transplantation Immunology department after a flood of criticism on his behavior. Former employees call working under him "North Korean conditions" and accuse him of mistreating coworkers and PhD students for years, NOS reports. 

It is not clear whether this professor was dismissed as department head, or stepped down on his own. He still works at the hospital, but only as a researcher and as supervisor for PhD students, according to the broadcaster.

Former employees at the hospital, MUMC+, describe the professor as a power-hungry man to 1Limburg. "He thought he was the god of the department", one said. "Several people were bullied away by him. He was constantly negative about the work of others and scolded employees during meetings with the department." Another added: "If you contradicted him, he did everything he could to destroy you."

According to the former employees, several of their coworkers had burnouts. Staff members complained to the MUMC+ person of trust, but to no avail. "There were a lot of complaints, but nothing was done", a former employee said.

A spokesperson for the hospital told 1Limburg that MUMC+ finds it regrettable that employees feel inadequately heard and that they feel that they were damaged and disadvantaged because of it. In case of an employee or manager not behaving properly, an investigation is always done, the spokesperson added. 

The professor started working at MUMC+ in 2008. Before that he worked at UMC Utrecht. The hospital removed his profile from their website this week, according to NOS. The professor did not respond to these accusations when contacted by 1Limburg.