Dutch news in brief, Thursday 26 November 2009

26th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Doctor says patients should have more responsibility in treatment process
Trouw tackled the thorny issue of medical error and reported one surgeon's call for patients' representatives to serve on hospital boards.

Professor Johan Lange, who is also pushing for patients to be given more responsibility in the treatment process, said such a move would help make Dutch healthcare a safe service which puts patients first.

He complained that the current health service does not do as well on safety as other risk sectors such as the petrochemical or aviation industries.

Professor Lange is one of 12 doctors who talked openly about their medical errors in a book called Never Again.

One mistake happened during an exploratory operation in 1993 when a patient's hand was left permanently damaged. He admitted that, at the time, he was over-confident and hadn't received enough training to perform the procedure.

Describing the gung-ho atmosphere regarding taking risks which prevailed in the hospital at the time, he said: "There was no counterbalance, you were actually encouraged. Then, you start riding a sort of wave. You only realise afterwards that you hadn't given it enough thought. I've learned my lesson and want to teach it to others."

Trouw also reported European Commission figures quoted by one campaigner for the victims of medical errors which showed "an average of 20 people a day die and 20 are disabled as a result of medical mishaps".

Hospital intensive care units lack security
AD reported on the lack in hospital security as researchers working for a Rotterdam security firm were able to take unauthorised strolls round 10 hospitals outside visiting hours. They were able to wander around the intensive care units and even managed to peruse patients' files in two of the institutions.

One security expert blamed hospital staff, complaining that they "don't realise that they're also responsible for security".

Besides endangering the patients who run the risk of being infected by unauthorised visitors, he also pointed out "you don't want to get your things stolen while you're in hospital".

The Dutch Hospitals Association explained it was not possible to make intensive care units more secure.

"You've got to choose between good care and security. It's difficult if all the doors are locked and you want to move a patient to the operating theatre in a hurry," said a spokesperson.

Success of book on adultery
Nrc.next examined how a Dutch novel that described the adventures of a man who manically seeks adulterous sex while his wife is dying of cancer has enjoyed tremendous success and has been made into a movie. According to the paper, Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (This woman goes to the doctor), which has sold over one million copies, has been read by mainly women.

The paper posed the question why so many women see the book's protagonist as a hero while in real life they would totally disapprove of his behaviour such as sending his mistress a text message as his wife dies.
The answer given was that the husband is "so sweetly helpless, and so open and honest about his confused emotions".

The paper concluded we have totally different standards in the world of books and films than in the real world. It also asked whether this has relevance in debates such as that about pornography's influence on people's behaviour.

Yab Yum resurfaces as a musical
De Telegraaf reported of another art work that some might find in poor taste.

Amsterdam's infamous luxury sex club Yab Yum, which was closed down because of alleged links to the criminal underworld, is going to resurface as a musical.

The club's founder, Theo Heuft, is unapologetic about the new show: "It's an honour that there's going to be a musical about my life's work. That's what Yab Yum was. I mounted prostitution in a golden frame."

According to the producer, the musical will allow us "to enter a world of beautiful young women, of glamour and glitter" and underworld threats will apparently provide the exciting action.

Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica

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