About 1,000 people demonstrate for preservation of Zuyderland Hospital emergency room
About 1,000 people gathered in Heerlen on Saturday afternoon for a demonstration to preserve the emergency room (ER) and the hospital block of the Zuyderland Hospital in the municipality of Limburg. The hospital wants to restructure the emergency room and the hospital block and move them to Zuyderland in Sittard-Geleen in 2030. According to the hospital, there is no escape from this plan due to the ever-increasing shortage of staff.
The outdated hospital in Heerlen is being thoroughly renovated. The Zuyderland Hospital in Heerlen will then become a large-scale center for day care, while Sittard-Geleen will retain a 24-hour facility with acute care and recovery rooms.
The protest march will start at 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Mondriaan psychiatric institution in the John F. Kennedylaan. Half an hour later, the protesters are expected at the hospital, where a petition with tens of thousands of signatures will be presented to the chairman of the board of Zuyderland, David Jongen, and the chairman of the board of the health insurance CZ, Joep de Groot.
Residents living near the hospital are not happy with the threatened closure of the emergency room. "I find it very sad that these things happen. People are limited in how they can get here. It's very important that it stays here," a resident told Een Vandaag.
"When it was announced in July that these facilities would be removed from here in 2030, we were shocked to death as a region,” representative Timoer Reijndersa and leader of the SP in Heerlen, said in the TV program.
The municipalities in the region have joined together to form a hospital alliance, which advocates for the preservation of facilities such as operating rooms, emergency care, and intensive care in the Zuyderland Hospital, Een Vandaag reported. The province supports this initiative.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times