Sunday 26 March 2023

Haarlem hospital uses trick to get round public sector pay ceiling

The Kennemer Gasthuis hospital in Haarlem paid almost €400,000 to an interim manager last year but got round the rules on public sector pay by calling him an advisor, RTL news reports on Wednesday.

Last year it was decided to strengthen the hospital’s board with an interim director. Maarten van der Vorst was given the job, despite having been involved in an earlier furore over hospital pay in Limburg, RTL news says.

There were protests in parliament at Van der Vorst’s appointment but health minister Edith Schippers asssured MPs he would fall under the new rules on public sector pay, fixing salaries at €230,000.


However, RTL news has now discovered Van der Vorst was actually paid €382,400, excluding value added tax and the finder’s fee to the Boer & Croon recruitment agency.

The broadcaster says the hospital would not have been able to pay Van der Vorst such a high fee if he was officially an ‘interim manager’. However, by calling him an ‘interim-advisor’, it was able to get round the law.

The hospital has refused to comment on the broadcaster’s claims but Socialist MP Renske Leijten, who first raised the issue in parliament, is furious about the loophole.

‘It has to be closed as soon as possible,’ Leijten said, adding that this is yet another example of the ‘sick culture’ in the healthcare sector.

The hospital booked a loss of €1m in 2012 but has not yet published its 2013 results. It recently cut 250 jobs and merged with the Spaarne hospital in Hoofddorp.

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