Emergency hospitals opened for victims of Haitian earthquake

3 February 2010

Emergency hospitals opened for victims of Haitian earthquake

At the request of SP Member of Parliament Remi Poppe, Secretary of State for Defence Jack De Vries is to make the Calamiteiten (Disasters) hospital in Utrecht and the Military Rehabilitation Centre (MRC) in Doorn available to the United Nations. Both institutions will be able to help with the medical treatment of victims of the earthquake in Haiti. “Haiti has a huge problem providing medical care," says Poppe. "The Netherlands must help to alleviate this problem, at least for the most urgent cases.”

The Calamiteiten (or 'Disasters') Hospital is a unique facility for relief of victims of exceptional events. The hospital is a joint project of the Ministry of Defence and Utrecht's University Medical Centre and can be used almost immediately and round the clock, but stands empty for most of the year. The MRC is a legally recognised rehabilitation centre for both civilian and military use and can also be made immediately available. Its staff have extensive knowledge of rehabilitation and there are personnel specialised in the making and fitting of artificial limbs.

Remi Poppe“Given the large numbers of casualties in Haiti, hospitals in the region are overburdened," says Poppe. "We're talking about victims who after treatment in emergency hospitals in Haiti need further medical treatment. According to the UN, there's a shortage of doctors, nurses, medicines and medical materials. Many survivors have serious wounds, complicated fractures and shattered limbs. So it's good that the Dutch government has reacted positively to my proposal to make our facilities available.”

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