On June 5th, the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology officially opened its doors. It was a small miracle, as the past 10 years were marked by a heated debate on its realization. Every person involved in healthcare had and has an opinion about this initiative. IG&H will remain closely involved in this project for the rest of 2018, because it is close to our hearts. In this blog, we would like to explain why.

Lasting improvement of the healthcare system: where to start?

Generally speaking, hospital care in the Netherlands is properly organized. But while performing our daily work, we have also observed that this organization is very ‘dense.’ Different specialisms and facilities as well as public, medical, and business interests are interlinked. Within this context, we constantly need to focus on the question: What will be a lasting improvement of the healthcare system?

Healthcare: more than the best medical treatment

Maneuvering within the interconnectedness of things that are all tied together is very difficult. The Princess Máxima Center has broken through it by demonstrating that concentrated healthcare also becomes better – even when it concerns a complex field such as pediatric oncology. It shows that healthcare goes beyond offering the best medical treatment. Everything and everyone in the center help parents and children to better get through the disease process.

This doesn’t mean that we believe all specialisms should be accommodated in such concentrated centers. Providing good healthcare is extremely complicated, and multidisciplinary general hospitals will always be indispensable. But an initiative such as the Princess Máxima Center really makes a difference. If we don’t continue such projects, we won’t learn anything, and healthcare will reach an irrevocable deadlock at some point. Therefore, we are incredibly happy and proud that the center is now officially open.

Unanimous decision: our personal motives

When our health team came into contact with the Princess Máxima Center, the decision to help realize it was quickly made. We were unanimous that we wanted to use our knowledge and expertise to help young patients receive better care.

This also stems from the fact that each of us understands very well that everyone is a patient, even though many pretend this isn’t true. At some point in life, you will have to deal with illness and healthcare. Being a heart patient and survivor of meningitis myself, for example, I have been a regular at hospitals from a very young age. In these cases, you assume that there’s an expert team which can help you in the best possible way. But you can expect much more at the Princess Máxima Center. Attention is paid to development, exercise, making sense of life, sports, and games. The center offers room for such matters, as well as for a child’s all-important own space and mobility. Children can go outside. Often, you see children and parents talk on a balcony or circling the sports square together in a duo kart. You want every family to have that in such a difficult situation: the opportunity to cope with being a patient, to stay together, to continue to grow and play. Children should be able to be children – anytime, anywhere. The seriousness of the disease requires a special team, pioneering research, and exceptional facilities.

Realizing something like that in a complex field such as hospital care is a major challenge. And at IG&H, we gladly accept challenges with a social interest – especially when we can do so while joining forces with professionals who share our passion. Based on this underlying thought, a child suffering from cancer is, of course, the most powerful motivator. Someone who doesn’twant to run for them must have a heart made of stone.

And when such a challenge comes in the shape of a pioneering patient-oriented center, we believe that the puzzle is complete.

Committed on all layers

From macro to micro level: IG&H is committed to the realization of the Princess Máxima Center on all layers. We consider it an honor that we are allowed to contribute significantly to one of the most topical themes in healthcare. Together with the exceptional people of the Princess Máxima Center, we will do everything to continue to help the center improve care for children with cancer for the rest of the year. That is what makes us tick.

Bart ter Horst

Author Bart ter Horst

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