Health

Children’s ombudsman: closure of children’s heart center Groningen in violation of children’s rights

Children have the right to the best possible health and healthcare. According to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the so-called non-regression principle applies; available appropriate care can only get better, not worse.

Geographical distance puts pressure on children’s quality of life and development

The cabinet intends to close three of the five children’s heart centers in the Netherlands. If it is up to Minister Kuipers, children with heart problems will only be operated on and treated in Rotterdam and Utrecht. Children’s ombudswoman Margrite Kalverboer is concerned about the proposed decision. ‘The closure of the pediatric heart surgery department of the UMCG makes the availability of care for children in the northern and northeastern provinces considerably more difficult. As a result, the distance children in this part of the country have to travel for appropriate care represents a regression in the realization of their right to available care.’

Margrite Kalverboer spoke about the intended decision with young people of the Children’s Advice Council of the UMCG. They said the following:

If you have to sit in the car for more than two hours in such a crisis or have to go to a hospital where you have not had surgery, it gives a less familiar feeling. – patient Kinderhartcentrum Groningen and member of the KinderAdviesraad

Whichever children’s heart center closes, children will suffer from it. But the children in the north of the Netherlands will suffer even more. – another member of the KinderAdviesraad

Research the best interests of children and weigh them in

The Ombudsman for Children also asks that the government properly investigate the interests of children and take them into account in this matter. This is also stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Margrite Kalverboer: ‘According to the Children’s Rights Committee, this first of all requires research into the interests of children, of which speaking with children affected by the decision is a crucial part. This intended decision has not been discussed with the children affected by this decision.’

My concern my business

In 2021, the Ombudsman for Children published the report My concern, my case. This showed that children want to be better involved in all decisions that they have to make due to their illness. And that there is a broader view than just the medical side of the treatment. Margrite Kalverboer: ‘The children in the study told us that it is essential for their well-being that the treatment fits into their entire life. It is therefore in the interest of children that they can be in their own living environment as much as possible during their treatment.’

Children’s ombudsman: closure of children’s heart center Groningen in violation of children’s rights
Source link Children’s ombudsman: closure of children’s heart center Groningen in violation of children’s rights

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