At least 21 patients and relatives have reported signing a gagging agreement when reaching a settlement about poor care or medical errors, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.
Last week health minister Edith Schippers urged people to let officials know if they had signed a contract pledging not to make public comments about their case or withdraw complaints in return for payments.
Her call followed news that the parents of 21-year-old man had signed such a deal after he died due to serious medical errors. They also agreed to withdraw a police complaint.
The 21 contracts involve hospitals, psychiatric care services, care of the elderly and handicapped and pharmaceutical firms, the Volkskrant says.
Schippers is looking into banning such gagging clauses, saying they are not a desirable development.
Meanwhile, health ministry inspectors are examining all 21 cases which have been reported to them. ‘The role of the inspectorate is to monitor the quality and safety of care,’ the inspectorate said in a statement. ‘This sort of contract is a direct contravention of that.’
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