On Tuesday afternoon, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visited UMC Utrecht, where she held four meetings.
During the first roundtable, she heard how the facility is taking care of postponed health checks; several routine health checkups have been postponed because of the coronavirus emergency, and now the healthcare system is trying its best to catch up on all the missed appointments.
The second meeting was with personnel from the facility’s ICU to hear how they’ve faced the sudden increase of ICU patients due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. She mostly heard about the prioritisation system put into place during the emergency to ensure that patients with the most urgent need for attention and care were attended to first and prevent hospital staff, especially doctors and nurses, from being overwhelmed. The system seems to have worked particularly well, so UMC Utrecht has decided to keep it in place for the future.
The third encounter was with doctors, nurses and patients from the Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Unit. This specific field of medicine has evolved the way they care for patients requiring regular checkups by using a technology that allows for their condition to be monitored remotely, avoiding patients’ trip to the hospital. She also watched a video call between a doctor and a patient to see how this procedure works.
Finally, Queen Máxima held a face to face meeting with a patient that had to postpone her surgery to see how this has affected her health and her treatments.
Queen Máxima has been heavily involved in the recovery process that patients have to undergo in order to be cleared of lingering symptoms of the coronavirus. She has also kept in touch with other hospitals all around the Netherlands during the pandemic and, more recently, during the rollout of the vaccination programme.