22 MARCH 2019
It is my home country, The Netherlands, where we shine a spotlight today. In Maastricht (my home) we have cancelled all elective surgery and some colleagues are preparing to take place in other departments of medicine when/if the need arises. I have shared with you here a number of protocols we have developed to guide our activities over the coming days. These will be available on www.eurotimes.org in Dutch and English (tomorrow).
Our synopsis in this issue is taken from an article by Christian Hoebe, head of infection prevention at the Dutch National Public Health Institutes (GGD) of South Limburg and member of the Outbreak Management Team of the Dutch government, who sets out the Dutch position on dealing with the COVID 19 threat.
It is not for the ESCRS to enter into the great debate among political decisionmakers and medical experts on the optimum means of dealing with this crisis. Nor to pass comment on the many bloggers and influencers active on social media. It will be sometime after we are through this pandemic that the advantages and disadvantages of all the various strategies will become clear. This healthcare crisis calls for leadership and decision taking amid an environment where management of uncertainty probably is the most difficult part.
It is our plan and the purpose of this newsletter to communicate the views of the people who are involved in the management of this crisis in each particular country and to share the experiences of our colleagues who are in the front lines of this battle.
We have all known for a long time that EU member states are not harmonised in their healthcare policies. Hopefully this crisis will provoke a paradigm shift for the future and lead to the level of solidarity and cooperation that we now already see on a micro level in our hospitals.
Please stay safe and well.