Doctors sound the alarm about corona measures: 'Continuing this way will cause damage'

More than 13,000 Dutch people from the medical world question the continuation of the current corona measures. Among them, more than 600 doctors, surgeons and other medical specialists. They express concern about the government's scarcely scientific evidence.

Psychological damage, economic damage and damage in care, because a large part of care is hampered by corona measures. Thousands of doctors, surgeons, pharmacists and other physicians say that the corona measures currently cause more damage than they do. They are drawing up a fire letter and want more scientific substantiation of the measures, such as the 1.5 meter rule.

The measures were good at first, let that be clear. You have to do something at that time, and quickly. At some point you have to see if that is still wise, '' says Roland Laurens. He is a heart and lung surgeon at the Isala hospital Zwolle and was one of the first signatories of the burn letter. More than 13,000 Dutch people from the medical world have now signed this letter. Among them more than six hundred doctors, surgeons and other medical specialists. “It actually says a lot that doctors are now speaking out about it. Doctors are generally reluctant to get out of the queue. They are not so quick to seek publicity, '' says Laurens. “It is now common opinion among many doctors that there is much more to be said about the current measures. The rules are conceived behind closed doors and little substantiated. There is much to say about the 1.5 meter rule. There is a lot of discussion about the difference between inside and outside. Or about the importance of ventilation. ''

Difficult to understand for citizens

Dick Bijl is one of the three doctors who prepared the burn letter. The former general practitioner and epidemiologist spoke on behalf of the thousands of doctors and other doctors. "In the first weeks of the pandemic, everything was uncertain and you could have little objection to the measures," says Bijl. “Now that we see that not all measures are scientifically substantiated, we notice that they are difficult to implement. If measures are substantiated in such a way that they can be justified, then citizens also understand and can stick to them. ''

Raymond Brunink is pleased with the great support that the letter has received from doctors. He is a freelance pharmacist himself. If a pharmacy has to be temporarily transferred, his company in Zutphen can be called in. "We could also have stood on the Malieveld, but then you would have been swept away," says Bruinink. "It is good to start the debate in this way. It is not the least who support the letter. People from the medical world with expert knowledge.

Open debate in the House of Representatives

At the end of July, the doctors want to present the burn letter to RIVM and the House of Representatives. "We want to be able to have an open debate as soon as possible," says Bijl. "It is not that we are against the measures, but they must be scientifically substantiated."

The content of the RIVM does not want to respond to the burn letter. “That is up to The Hague. The measures are taken there, RIVM advises, '' says Coen Berends on behalf of RIVM. “The measures were urgent. The decisions are based on expertise and literature. ''

Berends cannot agree with the reproach of 'lack of openness'. "Over time, reports of the consultations have been published each time."

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