The UMCG has no issue with visitors wearing them, and anyone that needs one for medical reasons in any hospital will be given a mask
Translated by Thomas Ansell
A number of hospitals in Groningen and Drenthe are asking visitors to un-mask upon entering the hospital. In the Martini hospital in Groningen, and the Treant hospital group (in Emmen and Stadskanaal), patients will be asked to take off their face mask on entry.
According to spokesperson Hetty Casemier, from the Martini hospital, wearing face masks in hospitals themselves can cause confusion”: “soon people will think that anyone they see wearing a face mask will have the Coronavirus. That’s confusion that we wish to avoid. So we’re saying to people- if you are a patient without symptoms please don’t wear a face mask. That will ensure clarity”.
Casemier added that guidelines from the RIVM say that ‘private face masks’ do not need to be worn in hospitals. A spokesperson for the RIVM denied that, saying to the Emmer Courant: “the guidelines from the RIVM are to be observed in all hospitals in the country. But hospitals can add their own policies.”
The UMCG in Groningen has no issue with visitors wearing face-masks. “A face-mask is designed to protect people surrounding you, and we think that that’s good”, said Lex Kloosterman, a spokesperson. The Treant Group hospitals in Stadskanaal and Emmen have the same rules as the Martini hospital: “if you’re generally healthy you do not need to wear a face-mask”, says spokesperson Lars Wormgoor, of Treant Group. “If a face-mask is needed for medical reasons, then patients will be provided with one upon entry. That’s because masks brought in from outside the hospital aren’t always used hygienically. Only when it is required to protect staff members do we mandate wearing masks, and they are provided through us.”
The Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis in Assen is also requesting that visitors and patients de-mask upon entry. If masks need to be worn to protect other people, then they will be provided by the hospital.
It should be noted that whilst research is ongoing into the effectiveness of face masks, it is generally held that they help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. They are mandatory on trains in the Netherlands, and it is generally a good idea to wear one whenever social distancing cannot be maintained, for example inside in unavoidable crowds.