Pregnant migrants seek Maxima's help
18 November 2003 , AMSTERDAM — Against a backdrop of cultural and infant mortality concerns, midwives and several pregnant migrant women have requested expat Princess Maxima support them in their fight against government budget cuts.
18 November 2003
AMSTERDAM — Against a backdrop of cultural and infant mortality concerns, midwives and several pregnant migrant women have requested expat Princess Maxima support them in their fight against government budget cuts.
The protestors gathered outside Princess Maxima's Waasenaar mansion on Monday, where military police accepted a petition and promised to give it to the Argentinean-born pregnant wife of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.
The Royal Dutch Organisation of Midwives (KNOV) is protesting against government budget cuts in maternity healthcare in migrant neighbourhoods. The group plans to take its protest to the Lower House of Parliament, or Tweede Kamer, on Tuesday.
In the larger Dutch cities, statistics indicate especially Turkish and Moroccan babies die more frequently than the children of native Dutch, an NOS news report said. Amsterdam University research reveals that migrant babies are more often born in poor health, are more often sick and more frequently admitted to hospitals.
And midwife M. ten Berge said assistance offered to migrant women requires more time and attention — and therefore more money. He said language and cultural problems mean that appointments take longer and thus fewer people can be assisted each day.
"Because of this my salary is lower. This should be compensated for with a special fee," Berge said. "The Ministry of Health has previously promised this, but the promise has now been withdrawn."
Faced with a sluggish economy, the annual EUR 2.6 million subsidy paid to support maternity health specialists in migrant neighbourhoods will also be scrapped as the government aims to cut EUR 17 billion from its total budget between now and 2007.
Princes Maxima — who was appointed in July to an independent commission set up to encourage immigrant women, Turkish and Moroccan in particular, to participate more in social activities in the Netherlands — is expected to give birth to her first child in December.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news