It is unlikely that prince Friso, left seriously brain damaged and in a coma after a skiing accident, will be cared for in the Netherlands because there is no specialist institution to take him, according to media reports.
The Netherlands has one centre which focuses on stimulating coma patients but it will only take people under the age of 25. The prince is 43.
The Leijpark centre in Tilburg bases the cut-off at 25 on medical research. ‘Brains develop until one is 25. After then there is no further renewal of the brain cells,’ Vincent Buitendijk, director of the Libra care group, told news agency ANP at the weekend.
There is no pressure to set up a specialist clinic for adults in the Netherlands because treatment to try to wake up older coma patients is not covered by Dutch health insurance, website nu.nl states.
According to the AD, the prince may be taken to Liege in Belgium, where the main teaching hospital has a unit which specialises in testing and treating patients in a coma.
The prince spent some 25 minutes under the snow after being hit by an avalanche while on a skiing holiday in the Austrian resort of Lech 10 days ago.