Superbug hospital manager fired from old job

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The newly-appointed interim director of Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam hospital, Peter Weeda, had been sacked from his function at a research centre for health insurers and walked away with a 370,000-euro golden handshake, Dutch newspaper reports.

Last week, Mr Weeda was appointed head of Maasstad Hospital, after former director Paul Smits was forced to leave amid a scandal concerning the outbreak of the multiple-resistant Klebsiella bacteria, which claimed the lives of 28 patients at the hospital. Almost 80 people have been infected by the bacteria. Mr Smits has been widely criticised for his failure to take action when the bacteria broke out.

Competition clause His new replacement, Mr Weeda, reportedly had a run-in with the rest of the management board of Vektis health care consultancy, of which he was a member since 2005. A competition clause in his contract at Vektis also stipulated that he would not be able to resume a position as director of another health care institution for a three-year period.

Rewarded for failure Besides Mr Smits’ slow and lax response to the superbug at Maasstad Hospital, other contentious issues leading to Mr Smits’ departure included his decision to spend 1.5 million euros on a campaign to improve the hospital’s image, which is now in ruins, his salary of nearly 400,000 euros per year and his 90,000-euro bonus despite the fact that targets were not achieved.

He didn’t leave the hospital empty-handed either. MPs are calling on him to hand back a 236,000-euro golden handshake because of his handling of the Klebsiella outbreak.

Maasstad hospital has been put under close supervision by Dutch authorities.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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