Ministry of Public Health Welfare and Sports

Stethoscope
Apr 1 '20 16:10

Doctors at GP stations or emergency rooms are not allowed to view Covid-19 patients' files without their permission, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) said in a letter to Ministers Martin van Rijn for Medical Care and Hugo de Jonge of  Public Health. The two Ministers are currently working on a temporary regulation that allows patient data to be viewed without express permission, NRC reports.

A hospital isolation room
Apr 1 '20 08:24

A total of 1,152 people were being treated for the coronavirus in intensive care units across the Netherlands as of 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, according to figures released by foundation NICE. That is 80 more than on Tuesday morning. All in all, ICUs in the country have treated 1,450 Covid-19 patients. A total of 176 of them succumbed to the virus, others recovered and were discharged.

Exhausted doctor
Mar 30 '20 09:48

The enormous influx of patients, the long work days and -weeks, the lack of variation, and the terrible course of the coronavirus in patients are causing deep feelings of powerlessness in doctors and nurses, and this can have long-term consequences, psychologists warn. They worry that the traumatic impact of the Covid-19 crisis will lead to post-traumatic stress disorders among healthcare workers in the Netherlands, the Volkskrant reports.

A nearly abandoned D Concourse in Departures 1 at Schiphol, 10 March 2020
Mar 30 '20 08:22

Passengers on flights from New York will not be subject to extra screenings when they arrive at Schiphol airport. Their temperature will not be measures and they won't be asked about symptoms, a spokesperson for Schiphol said to RTL Nieuws. "That is currently the policy in the Netherlands. That policy is determined by the government, not by Schiphol," the spokesperson said.

New York was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Of the over 2 thousand deaths in the country, over 700 happened in New York. 

A hospital isolation room
Mar 27 '20 20:45

The availability of beds in intensive care units at Dutch hospitals fell further on Friday, with 873 placements in ICUs now occupied by Covid-19 patients. There was an increase of about 15.5 percent from Thursday's total, with 118 more patients admitted into an ICU in the 24-hour period.

Hospital
Mar 27 '20 07:17

A total of 761 coronavirus patients were being treated in intensive care units in the Netherlands as of Thursday, up 18 percent from 644 on Wednesday, according to figures released by the association for intensive care NVIC. There are "few" beds available for new patients, the association said.

The number of available beds in ICU went from "sufficient" to "few" on Tuesday.

Feike Sijbesma
Mar 26 '20 10:41

The government appointed Feike Sijbesma, former CEO of biochemistry multinational DSM, as the special envoy for various aspects of dealing with the coronavirus, the Ministry of Public Health announced. He will firstly focus on Covid-19 tests and the availability thereof

Sijbesma will start working as envoy immediately. He will work closely with the Diagnostics Task Force set up by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports.

Hugo de Jonge at the EPP Summit in Brussels, May 2019
Mar 26 '20 08:19

Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health asked health institute RIVM to look into other available coronavirus tests in order to increase the Netherlands' testing capacity, he said in a letter to parliament. He also said that around 20 thousand former and retired healthcare workers have volunteered to return to the sector to help with the Covid-19 crisis.

Medical masks
Mar 25 '20 11:30

Medical masks seem to be a new hot commodity in the criminal world. Recently the police arrested two people in Dordrecht for trying to scam hospitals into buying non-existent masks for high amounts. And masks were stolen from a care institution in Putten.

Last week, the police received reports from multiple Dutch hospitals saying they were being offered a large batch of medical masks, for which they had to pay millions of euros. The police immediately suspected a scam and started an investigation.

A Philips non-invasive ventilator
Mar 24 '20 11:10

Philips announced that it is stepping up the production of medical equipment that can be used in the fight against the coronavirus, such as respirators, X-ray, and CT scanners. The company plans to double its production of respiratory equipment in the next eight weeks, and even have it quadrupled in the third quarter, the company said.

Medical masks
Mar 20 '20 14:12

Another 534 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus since Thursday, which took the country's total number of infected people to 2,994. Thirty of those patients died since Thursday, meaning that 106 people with coronavirus have died in the Netherlands, public health agency RIVM said on Friday.

Stock image of a "Dutch" stethoscope
Mar 19 '20 08:39

The Ministry of Public Health, along with other involved parties, launched a platform where retired healthcare workers or other professionals who no longer work in healthcare can register if they want to temporarily return to the sector. Care organizations who need additional workers due to the coronavirus can also register on the platform, bringing demand and supply together, the Ministry said.

Pharmacy
Mar 17 '20 17:20

In order to prevent medicine shortages and hoarding, the Ministry of Public Health agreed with pharmacies, drugstores and wholesalers to limit the amount of medicines sold per customer, medicines authority CBG said. 

Prescription medicine will henceforth be sold as per the prescription, but customers will not be able to take medicines for long in advance. Over-the-counter medicine like paracetamol will be limited to three packs per customer, according to the CBG recommendation. 

Coronavirus Covid-19
Mar 16 '20 14:14

Another 278 people in the Netherlands tested positive for the Covid-19 variant of coronavirus, bringing the country's total number of patients to 1,413. Four more patients who tested positive with the virus died since Sunday, figures provided by public health agency RIVM showed.

"In total, 24 people have now died from the disease. The average age of the deceased is 79 years (youngest 59- oldest 94). A total of 205 patients were or have been admitted to a hospital," the RIVM said in a statement.

Medical interns
Mar 11 '20 10:07

The already existing staff shortages in the Netherlands' healthcare sector are becoming "even more pressing in the fight against the coronavirus," nurses' and carers' professional organization NU'91 said to RTL Nieuws.

A doctor with the Dutch flag
Mar 11 '20 07:39

Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health is working on a new law that will put an end to non-disclosure agreements in healthcare. His legislative proposal will make it impossible for care providers to force patients or surviving relatives to remain silent about errors in their or their loved ones' care, NOS reports.

Pills
Mar 9 '20 16:00

State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health and Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security are submitting a legislative proposal to ban the basic ingredients of so-called designer drugs. In this way they want all new designer drugs to automatically be banned by the Opium Act, the Telegraaf reports.

Covid-19 - Sign at the Etos location on Dappermarkt in Amsterdam Oost stating that they have no masks or disinfectant gel, 2 March 2020
Mar 6 '20 14:10

Friday saw another hike in the number of Covid-19 diagnoses in the Netherlands, as well as the country's first death caused by the coronavirus. According to public health institute RIVM, there are currently 128 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Netherlands, up from 82 on Thursday.

Gurneys in a hospital corridor
Feb 27 '20 11:50

RISE Labs - the Netherlands' first so-called body broker - is promoting the donation of one's body to science after death as a "cheap alternative to a funeral" which "saves your relatives costs". This body broker, which trades in the body parts of people who made their body available to science after death, is operating in a legally gray area in the Netherlands, Nieuwsuur reports based on its own research. 

Child with teddy bear
Feb 21 '20 07:31

The Dutch government will pay compensation to victims who faced violence and sexual abuse while under the care of youth care, sources confirmed to NOS. Ministers Hugo de Jonge of Public Health and Sander Dekker for Legal Protection already offered the government's apologies for what happened to these victims. 

Surgery
Feb 19 '20 09:27

The Dutch government wants to stop surgeries carried out in the Netherlands to restore the hymen of women and girls because such operations fall under harmful practices that do not fit with the norms and values of Dutch society. The government also plans to put down in law that child marriages conducted abroad will no longer be recognized in the Netherlands, NOS reports.

Homeless person
Feb 17 '20 10:00

Homelessness in the Netherlands doubled over the past decade to around 40 thousand homeless people, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands. Due to an increasingly lack of available housing and money for counseling, the Netherlands' large municipalities are no longer able to effectively combat homelessness. Overnight shelters are overcrowded in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Nijmegen and others, the Volkskrant reports based on its own research. 

Cruise ship Westerdam
Feb 13 '20 12:40

The Westerdam, a Dutch cruise ship refused entry to several Asian ports due to fear of the coronavirus, was allowed to dock in the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville. None of the passengers have been diagnosed with 2019-nCoV, but the ship was still refused due to concerns of the virus spreading. The European Ministers of Public Health are gathering in Brussels on Thursday to discuss how to prevent the virus from spreading in Europe, NOS reports.

Crowd at a concert
Feb 7 '20 09:20

103 decibels - the maximum noise level allowed at events and concerts in the Netherlands - will still cause hearing damage if attendees do not wear earplugs, Nieuwsuur reports. The Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports confirmed to the program that it was assumed attendees would be wearing hearing protection when the maximum noise level of 103 dB was set, but this is not mentioned in the campaign about hearing protection titled I love my ears, Nieuwsuur said.

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