A Dutch doctor, no longer allowed to practice in the Netherlands and who is at the centre of legal proceedings for professional misconduct, has been found working at a hospital in Germany.
Former neurologist Ernst Jansen Steur is currently involved in what public prosecutors describe as the biggest medical negligence case in the Netherlands. He was identified working at a hospital in the German town of Heilbronn, and according to RTL news, has worked for several German clinics via an agency.
The German hospital authorities sacked him on Saturday after being alerted to his past by Dutch media. He was working as a doctor’s assistant, a relatively low position given his extensive CV, Nos television said.
Although Jansen Steur is no longer able to practice as a doctor in the Netherlands, the ban does not apply to other countries.
Dutch health minister Edith Schippers said in a reaction it is not possible for the Dutch authorities to phone ‘the whole world’ about a dysfunctional doctor.
However, a European warning system for health inspectors would be an option, she told television current affairs show Nieuwsuur.
‘It is terrible that someone… can go and work in another country,’ she said. ‘In Europe we share diplomas. I think we should share sanctions as well.’
Schippers also said she thought the German hospital should have checked Jansen Steur’s background more thoroughly. ‘They only had to google his name once,’ she said.
According to Nos television, Jansen Steur reached a deal with the Dutch health inspectorate several years ago. He agreed to write himself out of the official register for healthcare professionals in return for not being taken to the professional misconduct committee.
Schippers said the toughest sanction the committee could impose is to scrap someone from the register. ‘And he is no longer on it,’ she said. ‘Everyone checking the register knows he can no longer function as a doctor.’
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