PM in hospital another week

17th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 September 2004, AMSTERDAM — Following news that the budget debate in Parliament scheduled for next week is being postponed, Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm has confirmed Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende underwent a foot operation on Friday and will remain in hospital for another week.

17 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — Following news that the budget debate in Parliament scheduled for next week is being postponed, Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm has confirmed Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende underwent a foot operation on Friday and will remain in hospital for another week.

Balkenende was admitted to hospital with an infected foot on Tuesday. The  operation revealed the infection had not caused any further damage to the foot tissue.

Nevertheless, Balkenende's foot still needs intensive treatment and he is undergoing a course of antibiotics. The Cabinet sent him a get well card on Friday.

Zalm — who is also one of the coaltion government's two Deputy Prime Ministers — said he expects that he will be required to fill in for Balkenende for at least another 14 days.

It is unclear when the postponed post-budget day discussions in the Lower House of Parliament, Tweede Kamer, will proceed, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. The 2005 Budget will be officially presented on Prinsjesdag, Tuesday 21 September. Balkenende will be absent.

The parliamentary discussions were postponed when it was realised the infection in Balkenende's foot was not healing quickly enough for him to attend parliament.

Balkenende underwent an initial operation on Thursday afternoon at the IJsselland Hospital in his home town of Capelle aan den IJssel. Some of the foot's tissue was removed to combat the infection and he had been pencilled in to undergo a second operation on the Friday.

The surgeon said Balkenende's foot had been infected by the streptococcus and the staphylococcus bacteria. In combination, these bacteria can cause an aggressive infection that must be operated on if antibiotics prove ineffective.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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