Three child heart surgery units to be shut

Three of the Netherlands’ six specialist child heart surgery units in Nijmegen, Utrecht and Amsterdam are to be closed down, health minister Ab Klink announced on Thursday.

Instead services are to be concentrated in Leiden, Rotterdam and Groningen, where the best practises are to be found, according to a health ministry report.
‘Research shows that centres must carry out a minimum of 350 operations a year to offer a minimum standard of quality,’ Henk Lie, the chairman of the committee which drew up the report told news service ANP. ‘If we keep three centres open they will all reach that target easily… the interest of patients must be paramount.’
Earlier this year, the Nijmegen and Utrecht centres had decided to merge. Nijmegen had come under fire for poor mortality rates.

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