Medical ethical question
But according to Rutte, without a lockdown we run the risk that 4000 IC beds will be required at the end of January, while 1350 is actually the maximum achievable. “Of course, if you can scale up indefinitely, there will come a time when you can prevent a lockdown. But then comes the medico-ethical question of whether you want so many people in a coma who are ventilated with all sorts of tubes in their body. “For their lives. let’s fight.”
MEP Fleur Agema from the PVV believes that the cabinet is doing far too little to increase health care capacities. “This prime minister would rather close society than invest in health care,” she said. She claims that the upcoming cabinet will cut billions in healthcare, although Rutte said it would be about curbing spending growth.
The prime minister referred to the 300 million euros that his new cabinet wants to spend on “pandemic preparedness”. With the money he wants to flexibly upscale the care capacities in subsequent waves and pandemics without this being at the expense of regular care. “But even without our being in a normal situation with empty beds with staff there who have nothing to do.”
Several MPs wanted to know exactly how this works, but Rutte referred to the new team of ministers. “He has to work out the plans.”
Long term vision
The left opposition parties in particular insisted on a long-term vision of the cabinet. “We are in a dead end and can no longer afford to continue like this,” said Attje Kuiken from the PvdA. “The point on the horizon is missing,” said Lisa Westerveld from GroenLinks.
According to Rutte, the cabinet is working on a long-term strategy for how we can live with the virus in the future. “We hope to be a long way from that in January.”