Parliament wants investigation into healthcare organizations forcing patients to do illegal work
A parliamentary majority of VVD, CDA, D66, and ChristenUnie members want a national investigation into the use of vulnerable patients for criminal activities. “This is a terrible leak in the healthcare system, and it is much bigger than we thought,” CDA member Madeleine van Toorenburg told RTL Nieuws.
A report released on Friday showed that Dutch healthcare organizations are using vulnerable patients for criminal activities. In the past three years, 22 such unlawful companies were active in the province of Twente alone. It is probably just the tip of the iceberg, say the researchers.
For example, patients are made to run errands in drug deals. Others have to help cut hemp plants as their daily routine. At a healthcare facility where a cannabis farm was discovered, there were also signs of sexual exploitation.
“I was really shocked by this report,” says Van Toorenburg. “You see, I have not mentioned this more often for nothing. Victims are also made here.” Van Toorenburg would like a national investigation to be conducted. “This report is only about a small region, with so many cases already. It is time to get to the bottom of this and see where else this is going on. It is important that there is a national study and national expertise,” she says.
VVD MP Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius also advocates for a national investigation. “It is totally unacceptable that criminals are ruthlessly taking advantage of vulnerable patients to make a profit on their backs. To tackle this, we need to know the size, so more research is definitely needed,” he argues.