During his inaugural lecture as Professor of Internal Medicine, internist-nephrologist Joris Rotmans of the LUMC Leiden spoke about his greatest passion: technical innovations for kidney patients. But he also outlined the major obstacles that currently stand in the way of innovation and sustainability.
In the Netherlands, 1.4 million people now work in healthcare, almost 15% of the working population. “In that respect, it is not surprising that the 100 billion we spend on healthcare corresponds to almost 15% of the gross domestic product. But we need at least 2 million people in healthcare by 2040: 1 in 4 working people,” explains Joris Rotmans. “Only there aren’t. In fact, we already have a shortage.”
“We would like to make healthcare as safe as aviation. That also has a downside.”
Internist-nephrologist Joris Rotmans
Brake on innovation
In his inaugural lecture on 24 March, Rotmans naturally considered the impact of kidney failure, the future of (hemo)dialysis and other technical innovations for kidney patients, such as mechanical organ preservation and xenotransplantation. But quite apart from the ethical discussion about solutions of this kind, the professor mainly sees practical challenges that put the brakes on innovation: finances, the ‘care infarction’ and the out of proportion balance between innovation and risk minimisation. “We would like to make healthcare just as safe as aviation,” says the professor. “Nobody can be against that, but it also has a downside.”
Too strict legislation
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