Groningen provincial politicians have called on Dutch health minister Ernst Kuipers to scrap his plan to close children’s heart surgery services at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the Groninger Internet Courant reports. The shutdown of the UMCG unit, the North’s only children’s heart surgery service, will have far-reaching consequences for many people, councilors stressed at a meeting on Wednesday.
Stephanie Bennet of GroenLinks, who underwent surgery for congenital heart disease at the UMCG in her student days, called the minister’s decision “incomprehensible, with catastrophic consequences”.
ChristenUnie councilor Margriet Donker said the UMCG pediatric center provided the best possible care for her daughter who suffered from heart problems at birth.
Groningen provincial politicians plan to work with their respective parties to convince the Dutch health officials to drop the plan to close the child heart surgery unit at the UMCG. The final decision is expected to be taken on 17 February when the parliamentary committee for Public Health, Welfare, and Sport meets to discuss the issue.