Converting a military hospital into a “medical center” leads to a lot of questions

Several hospitals are concerned about Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder (PS)’s plans to turn the Neder-over-Heembeek military hospital into a ‘medical center’ by 2030. It will house a crisis and disaster relief hospital, integrated into Brussels’ civilian care offering.

Dedonder (PS) recently provided more information about the project to the relevant Parliamentary Committee. The future “medical center” will consist of a military hospital, an education and training center, a simulation and a logistics center for medicines and medical equipment. The ambition is to become a knowledge hub and crisis hospital thanks to digitization, partnerships and sustainable collaboration with national and international partners.

However, the minister’s explanation worries many members of the medical community and the hospital, according to the documents released Belgium was able to display.

“unclear” and “without prior consultation”

Several hospitals believe the minister is not clear about her plan to transform Nadir Over Himbek Military Hospital into a “real” specialist hospital. After all, a burn center would not be viable there due to the lack of a specialized medical environment.

Hospitals also denounce the way in which the minister is developing the project “without prior consultation” with hospital doctors, civil society or the FPS public health institution, and “without questioning the needs of society” in the field of crisis medicine.

“The defense decided on its own initiative and at the taxpayer’s expense to process a file that should be transversal and clearly outside the framework of the defense organization. This approach is incompatible with integration with the world of civilian hospitals in the fight against health crises,” you could hear in hospitals.

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They also accuse the minister of proposing a project that focuses on himself, while he cannot meet his own needs and creates the risk of increasing the burden on the hospital sector in the event of a military operation or attacks in his country or crises in neighboring countries with many. Seriously injured civilians or military.

“Experience is threatening to disappear”

They also question the ability of the Defense Ministry, which runs the hospital alone. The hospital is not covered by the Hospitals Act 1987. So hospitals fear that expertise in military medicine, which the National Institute for Human Development and Human Development does not recognize, will disappear, in the short term, within five to ten years.

Finally, various sources fear that the military hospital will gradually be included in the IRIS network in Brussels, which is often seen under the influence of PS. Two floors of the hospital in Neder-over-Heembeek have already been provided for the Brugmann Hospital Center, which is already responsible for the accounts of the military hospital.

Megan Vasquez

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