UMCG and health inspectorate dysfunctional

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The University Medical Center Groningen UMCG and the Health Inspectorate IGZ have “shockingly failed” to clarify the circumstances which led to the permanent physical and mental disability of a baby which underwent surgery at the UMCG.

This is the conclusion reached by the National Ombudsman in his report on the case of one-and-a-half year old baby Jelmer who was admitted to the UMCG in 2007 for a bowel operation which resulted in brain damage that left him both physically and mentally seriously disabled.

When the parents demanded to know the exact cause of the brain damage both the UMCG and the IGZ consistently refused to provide information. In his report, Mr Brenninkmeijer writes that the hospital had operated in a “cold, aloof and even calculating way.” He characterised IGZ’s performance as “so dysfunctional as to defy any description.”

Brenninkmeijer wants the UMCG and the IGZ to provide all information to the parents after all and offer them appropriate compensation. The National Ombudsman says there are at least 25 similar cases in the Netherlands.

The IGZ launched an investigation and three-and-a-half years later published a critical report which four months later was replaced with a final report stating that no mistakes were made.

The IGZ released a statement on Thursday in which it admits the National Ombudsman’s harsh judgement was justified. The UMCG, on the other hand, announced it would meet with Jelmer’s parents but declined to comment on whether they would offer their apologies.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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