Minister is unbending

UMC Utrecht goes to court to save pediatric cardiology centre

Photo: Wikimedia / Antoine CC BY-SA 3.0

Last week, hospitals received the last confirmation of the minister's decision, who announced back in February that only the pediatric cardiology centres from the university hospitals in Rotterdam and Groningen would continue to exist. Utrecht and Leiden would have to close their doors, therefore. The minister's announcement put an end to a debate that lasted several years, regarding the concentration of pediatric cardiology centres and how to improve the quality of healthcare.

UMC Utrecht is extremely disappointed with this state of affairs as the successful collaboration that now exists between specialists in pediatric cardiology and the pediatric oncologists from the Princess Máxima Centre would be dissolved. It is common for children with cancer to need heart surgery.

Parents and family members of children who make use of the centre in Utrecht are equally angered (article in Dutch only, Ed.). A petition titled "Keep the Heart at the Centre" has been signed by some 47,000 people so far.

According to the hospital in Utrecht, the ministry had decided earlier that the pediatric cardiology centres would be concentrated in Rotterdam and Utrecht. It isn't clear to UMC Utrecht why the minister has now changed his mind.

They say in a press release: "We are really disappointed and forced to take juridical steps against this decision, alongside the Princess Máxima Centre for Pediatric Oncology."

The University Medical Centre from Leiden has also announced that it will take this matter to court (article in Dutch, Ed.).