Dutch hospitals struggling with Covid-deniers
Hospitals throughout the Netherlands are dealing with seriously ill patients or family members who refuse to believe they have the coronavirus, because according to them it doesn't exist, AD reported after surveying hospitals. At least 15 Dutch hospitals told the newspaper they have dealt with Covid-deniers. The vast majority of coronavirus patients currently in hospital have not been vaccinated or are only partially vaccinated.
"We are sometimes told by relatives of those who have to be admitted to hospital with serious coronavirus symptoms: 'Just tell us what he really has, because corona does not exist'," Tanja Hak of the Hospital Group Twente said to AD. And these Covid-deniers mostly stand their ground, no matter how serious the situation is, she said. "Even if you have to turn people over on their stomach for the ventilator, they continue to deny corona."
Employees at the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk sometimes face angry patients who refuse to follow healthcare workers' instructions, spokesperson Sandra de Jong said. "This is a hard blow for the colleagues who have seen so much misery in the past corona year."
Several hospitals, including Amsterdam UMC, reported struggling with patients who refuse to take a Covid-19 test, resulting in the attending physician having to confirm an infection in a different way. "In addition to requiring more logistics, it also leads to a lot of frustration. Of course, we do not take such tests without the consent of patients, no matter how difficult," AMC spokesperson Daniela Cohen said.
Amsterdam OLVG reported sporadic interactions with Covid-deniers. "I once experienced that a patient claimed that he did not have Covid, but was only more bothered by all the dust due to a renovation," a spokesperson said to the newspaper. "In the end he kind of believed us."
"Very uncomfortable situations arise between unvaccinated people and medical professionals," the Dutch association for hospitals NVZ confirmed to AD. "That can lead to difficult situations," spokesperson Wouter van der Horst said "That does not alter the fact that everyone who needs care, regardless of behavior or choice not to be vaccinated, can simply count on help."