We are desperate for more medical staff. Then why are we making it so difficult for foreign medical professionals to enter into Dutch health care?
As timelines flood with messages about overcrowded ICs, rising death tolls and doom scenarios, a surprisingly positive Facebook message from the Dutch Council for Refugees draws the attention: 'Syrian doctor Feisal has been eager to get to work for years,' begins the message posted on March 30th. 'The past few weeks have been extra difficult for him. "It is painful to see all the Covid patients on TV, when I am not allowed to use my stethoscope to relieve their pain."
About two hundred doctors, nurses and paramedics who qualified abroad immediately sign up to assist their Dutch colleagues during this national health crisis.
Feisal would love to give back to the country that offered him a safe haven. And that is allowed! Last week, the Ministry decided that doctors who have qualified abroad can now also work. Yes!!! We wish this hero the best of luck!'
Abou is not the only one eager to get to work during this pandemic. About two hundred doctors, nurses and paramedics who qualified abroad immediately sign up to assist their Dutch colleagues during this national health crisis. How come so much medical talent is standing by on the sidelines in the Netherlands? And what does the Covid-19 health crisis mean for their chances in Dutch healthcare?
Read the full article in Dutch here
Originally published in De Groene Amsterdammer on September 9, 2020