Pediatric heart surgery in our country is currently assigned to four university medical centers: in addition to the UMCG, these are the UMC in Leiden, the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and the UMC in Utrecht. The quality of this highly complex care is under pressure. All parties involved agree that the number of UMCs with pediatric heart surgery should be reduced. But that’s where the unanimity ends.
Rotterdam and Utrecht
Groningen, Rotterdam and Leiden submitted a plan last year to take on pediatric heart surgery with the three of them. But Minister Ernst Kuipers, like his predecessor Hugo de Jonge, believes that pediatric heart surgery should be left to Erasmus MC and UMC Utrecht.
Domino effect and hollowing out
This shocked the UMCG, parents of children with a congenital heart defect, northern politicians and many others. This is not only due to the greater travel distance between the Northern Netherlands and Utrecht or Rotterdam. The UMCG fears a domino effect for other departments, resulting in an erosion of academic medical care and science in the North.