Acute care boss wants to be Minister in next cabinet
"If they ask me to become a Minister, I would certainly consider it." That is what Ernst Kuipers, chairman of the National Network Acute Care, said in an interview with the Volkskrant. "There is a lot that we need to tackle in healthcare in the coming years. More attention must by paid to prevention, to digitization, we have to ask ourselves how we get and retain new staff. So plenty to do."
Kuipers gave this answer to the question whether he sees himself as a Minister, like the NWO CEO Marcel Levi, former chairman of the board of hospitals in Amsterdam and London. "I know Marcel well, we would both be suitable for that. We have not studied political science or public administration, we were never an alderman, never an administrative assistant to a Minister, so we did not take the usual route, but that is not necessary either. During the medical training, you learn to be decisive and communicative, we were taught a lot about crisis management and problem analysis. You can use that knowledge with your patients, but also as a manager," Kuipers said in the newspaper.
Kuipers would also approve if there were people in "important positions at the Ministry who have once stood at a bedside". He explained the reason: "With a background in healthcare, for example, it is easier to interpret information yourself. Then you do not always have to ask the Health Council for advice about every change in the vaccination program. That unnecessarily slowed things down this past year. And if you do so, then at least appoint experts from the corona practice, an ICU doctor, a general practitioner, a healthcare administrator to the council."
He agreed with the coronavirus care being quickly scaled up. But that was at the expense of other care, Kuipers told the Volkskrant. "We've done the right thing, but we're paying the price for it." He clarified: "If we finally make it to the end, we may have lost more years of life due to less good care for non-Covid patients than we gained because of the extra care for Covid patients."
Reporting by ANP.