Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 6 October 2009

6th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Stomach surgeon blamed for at least five deaths
AD reports of at least five patients dying because of mistakes made by a stomach surgeon during stomach reduction operations over an 18-month period.

The operations, which took place in a hospital in the northeastern city of Emmen, were carried out by surgeon Nick R.

An external report, which was to be released today, is said to conclude the deaths could have been avoided and that the doctor and hospital were to blame.

The report is now being withheld as the surgeon is challenging the findings.

The paper says the same doctor was found guilty of culpable homicide by a court in Germany in 2002 following a clinical error that resulted in a patient's death.

Sources connected to the report say fatal errors were repeated because of communication problems within the operation team. The hospital halted the stomach reduction operations in April and suspended the surgeon.

Relatives of those who died and other patients who were affected find it shocking that the report was not made public.

A lawyer told the paper: "The case has turned into a proper circus, and we're now not going to get total openness. It's sad to have to conclude that a surgeon like this has the power to keep the case under wraps."

One in 10 homes in debt
Trouw sounds the alarm about the spectre of debt, saying one in 10 Dutch households is facing debt problems even before the crisis.

The figures from a government-commissioned report cover the period up to October 2008 show low0income homes, single and unemployed people appear to be most at risk of getting into problem debt.

However, couples earning average salaries were also singled out as a group often living beyond their means.

Deputy Social Affairs Minister Jetta Klijnsma wants to concentrate on educating people on how to better manage their finances.

"It's incredibly important that, if there's less coming in, people cut their coat according to their cloth," she said.

PM under fire over Crown Prince’s holiday home in Mozambique
Nrc.next reports MPs from the governing coalition parties, Labour and the Christian Union, are pushing for an inquiry into Crown Prince Willem-Alexander's plans to build a holiday home in Mozambique.

The project, which includes the construction of a luxury resort, was touted as helping the local population. However, there has been recent bad publicity, including accusations that the developer had bribed the local authorities in Mozambique.

The Union of House of Orange Associations, a nationwide royal fan club, took an unusually critical stance on the royal project and declared it was time for the prince pulled the plug on it.

de Volkskrant, meanwhile, reminds us that issues round the royal family will be debated in parliament on Thursday and will include questionable financial practices at the palace. The paper expects that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will get a rough ride.

Netherlands: More or less popular?
Figures reported by nrc.next show Amsterdam is becoming less popular with companies as it dropped two rankings to the eighth position. In 2008, the Dutch capital was the sixth in a list of European cities chosen as sites for company offices.

However, De Telegraaf reports a UN research across 182 countries shows the Netherlands is the sixth best place to live in the world. The criteria considered included earnings, general welfare such as health care and life expectancy.

Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica


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