Frequently asked questions about coronavirus

Here, you can find answers to many questions you may have. For all information on coronavirus, we refer you to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM): https://www.rivm.nl/coronavirus/covid-19

Frequently asked questions

General

When you visit the outpatient clinic or A&E:

  • Attend your consultation on your own. This allows us to ensure that there is enough room for patients in the waiting rooms. If you cannot attend unaccompanied, you may be accompanied by no more than one person.
  • Tip! As a patient, you are able to record your consultations with your doctor on your mobile phone. In addition, you can also put your phone on speaker to allow your next of kin to listen in.
  • When you come to visit:
    • Patients are permitted no more than a single visitor a day.
    • Please do not come to HMC if you have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms, such as a cold, a cough, a sore throat or shortness of breath.
    • Decide with your family and friends who will visit when. This will avoid any unfortunate situations.
    • Visiting a patient with COVID-19? Please always call the department in advance, to allow the visit to take place safely for all parties involved.
  • Stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Wearing a face mask is mandatory
    This applies to everyone aged 13 and over. Patients who have been admitted to a ward do not have to wear a face mask. You can wear your own face mask. If you do not have a face mask you will be given one at the entrance.
  • Follow the hygiene rules

 

In such cases, please phone the department at which you have an appointment on +31 (0)88 979 79 00. Your healthcare professional will then discuss how best we can assist.

 

No, do not come to hospital. Instead, phone your GP or your local Municipal Health Service (GGD). If you have any doubts, you can contact the department with which you have an appointment by phone on 088 979 79 00.

Appointment

HMC is a safe place for all our patients, visitors and employees, where we take measures to protect your – and our – health. It is vital that we all abide by the COVID-19 rules and restrictions in force.

Continuing to provide care

We are continuing to provide patient care wherever possible. We do not just provide care to patients suffering, or potentially suffering, from the coronavirus. You can come to us for all types of care, including care provided by dermatologists, orthopaedists, cardiologists or paediatricians. Surgery will also continue as much as possible. It goes without saying that you can also come to us if you require urgent care, such as accident and emergency care, obstetrics, neurosurgery or oncology. You are welcome to come to HMC.

What this means for you

  • Urgent care needs
    Our hospital is always available for emergencies. Please consult the Emergency section on the website to find out what to do.
  • Non-urgent care needs
    Please phone your GP or your HMC doctor for any non-urgent care needs. We will then determine whether we need to see you in hospital or whether a video/phone consultation can be scheduled.
  • Existing appointments
    It may be the case that your appointment at the outpatient clinic or for surgery may be rescheduled. Occasionally, your outpatient clinic appointment will be changed to a phone consultation. In the event of a change to your appointment, we will always contact you in advance. You will not have to take any action yourself. We will only change your appointment if your HMC doctor has determined a phone consultation or postponement to be medically justifiable. If you have any urgent symptoms, then please contact us immediately.
  • Rescheduled appointments
    If we are able to reschedule your appointment, we will likewise contact you and you will not have to take any action yourself. When scheduling appointments, we follow the guidelines of the Dutch Healthcare Authority.

No, there's no reason to worry. Any staff with flu-like symptoms are not permitted to come to work.

Visitors

Yes you can. When you come to visit:

  • Patients are permitted no more than a single visitor a day.
  • Please do not come to HMC if you have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms, such as a cold, a cough, a sore throat or shortness of breath.
  • Decide with your family and friends who will visit when. This will avoid any unfortunate situations.
  • Visiting a patient with COVID-19? Please always call the department in advance, to allow the visit to take place safely for all parties involved.

 

No, there's no reason to worry. We are monitoring the situation extremely closely.

The patients admitted to HMC Westeinde with COVID-19 were immediately placed in isolation to ensure that patients and staff at HMC are protected against further spread of the virus.
The HMC staff members with COVID-19 are in self-isolation at home.

Strict protocols are in place and we have decided to implement strict prevention measures. These measures are often put into practice for patients infected with a contagious bacteria or virus, so our employees are fully aware of exactly what to do in order to avoid infecting others. These measures help us to optimally protect patients, visitors and employees against infection.

Patient Care

The patients are placed in isolation to ensure that patients and staff at HMC are protected against further spread of the virus. 

If patients report to the hospital with respiratory complaints, they will be placed in strict isolation and tested, regardless of whether or not they are from an at-risk area. We have a sufficient supply of protective materials and can make extra beds available if required.
Our team of medical specialists in the field of infectious diseases is continually monitoring the situation. We were well-prepared for the developments concerning coronavirus and we took into account the possibility of patients reporting to HMC who are or are suspected to be infected with COVID-19. Strict protocols are in place and we have decided to implement strict prevention measures. These measures help us to optimally protect patients, visitors and employees against infection.

No, Pregnant women are no more or less likely to become infected with the virus than non-pregnant women. In the event that they are infected, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) states that the course of the illness is the same and there is no elevated risk of a miscarriage or birth defects.

Our information meetings on pregnancy and childbirth have been provisionally cancelled and we are currently working on alternatives. Have you registered for the meetings via the e-mail address patvoor@haaglandenmc.nl? If so, you will automatically be informed once alternatives have been arranged.

If you have not yet registered but would like to attend, send an e-mail to patvoor@haaglandenmc.nl
We will let you know once alternative arrangements have been made.

Deliveries in HMC to continue
Deliveries in HMC are currently continuing as normal. In order to ensure the necessary care and minimise the spread of the virus, however, the obstetrics department has taken additional measures. Have you just given birth in HMC, or are you going to give birth soon? We have listed the most important information for you below. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Before the delivery

  • All necessary checks for pregnant women at the outpatient clinic will continue.
  • As a pregnant woman, you may be placed in a room with other patients. This is not our usual policy, but unfortunately, we are now forced to do so. The rooms are spacious enough and there is sufficient distance between the beds.
  • What if you are coming to the hospital and you or anyone in your immediate vicinity have any symptoms such as coughing, a cold, fever or sore throat? Always notify us of this fact, even in cases of doubt. You can do so by phone at 088 9792104. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that you have a great responsibility in this regard. This is in the interest of your own health and that of other patients and employees.
  • Strict visiting rules apply. When you come to the hospital, you may bring one person to accompany you. If this person has symptoms (see above), they cannot accompany you. When you are going to give birth, the following rules apply.

 Deliveries

  • Deliveries in HMC will continue as normal. There are sufficient delivery rooms to ensure that all pregnant women can give birth under the supervision of healthcare professionals. All our delivery rooms are single rooms.
  • During the birth, a maximum of one person may be present to accompany you. If this person has symptoms (see above), strict isolation measures apply to you, the person accompanying you and our employees. It is therefore extremely important that you notify us of this fact. You can do so by phone at 088 9792104. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that you have a great responsibility in this regard, in the interest of your own health and that of other patients and employees. Unfortunately, this means it will not be possible to come to the hospital with both your partner and your doula, for example.

After the delivery 

  • As a new mother, you may end up in a room with other patients. This is not our usual policy, but unfortunately, we are now forced to do so. The rooms are spacious enough and there is sufficient distance between the beds. Strict visiting rules apply. While you are staying in the hospital, you may designate one person to come and visit you. If this person has symptoms (see above), he or she will not be permitted to visit.
  • This means that siblings are not permitted to visit.
  • In order to avoid unpleasant situations, we would ask everyone to coordinate the permitted visit properly with all the close relatives.
  • Paediatric ward
  • If your baby is admitted to the paediatric ward, strict visiting measures will also apply.
  • Only parental caregivers (up to two) are permitted to visit, one of whom can stay the night. For the time being, this means that visits by siblings are not permitted.

The above measures are in the interest of your own health, your baby's health and the health of our employees. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Do you have any urgent issues? If so, don't hesitate to call us (088 9792104). Based on your issue, we will advise you on the best course of action.

Dear madam,

After the press conference of the Prime Minister on May 6 the national organisations involved with pregnancy care (NVOG, KNOV en BEN) have looked at possible ways to ease the current protocol. Social, medical and safety issues have been reviewed. Requests to allow partners to come to check-ups have been taken into account. The risk of attracting Covid-19 is reduced by restriction on physical contact and mobility, personal hygiene and 1,5 m distancing. We continue to ask everyone involved to take their own responsibility to keep the risk of infection of patients, partners, caretakers to a minimum.

On May 8 a number of recommendations to relax the current stringent measures were published. However, restraint in implementation was emphasised especially where local circumstances and capacity is restricted. In combination with the suggestions as published in the press the HMC has come to the following policy changes:

  1. Only in cases when there is an absolute necessity partners are allowed to come (e.g. the nature of the consultation, such as bad news, serious afflictions). For normal check-ups women come alone.
  2. Partners are allowed to come along for the 20 weeks structural scan (SEO, GUO). For routine scans such as fetal growth etc they are not allowed to come.
  3. Partners are allowed in the delivery room during labour and delivery. More than one person is not allowed.
  4. Visitors to the maternity ward remains restricted to one person only.

The reason for not strictly following the national recommendations is that otherwise the HMC cannot guarantee the precautionary methods to prevent infections to work. Should partners be allowed to come to all clinic appointments and ultrasound scan investigations, the waiting areas will be so packed that 1,5 m distancing will not be possible and a potentially dangerous situation will ensue. With these measures we aim to minimise the number of visitors to the hospital in order to keep chances on infection to a minimum.

The measures are considered to be temporary and are evaluated on a weekly basis. We aim to go back to the situation we had before Covid-19 entered as soon as possible with safety as the prevailing factor in this proces.

Not only patients but also all visitors are screened for Covid-19 symptoms of infection. A distance of 1,5 m will be maintained in the waiting area and in the treatment rooms as much as possible. See also the Dutch FMS-leidraad Persoonlijke bescherming in de (poli)klinische setting vanwege SARS-CoV-19 en de NHG-standaard ‘Persoonlijke bescherming’ 

Yours faithfully,

The HMC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Questions

More information about the virus can be found on the website of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). If you would rather contact the RIVM by phone, you can call them on 0800-1351.

This telephone number is open every day from 8.00 a.m. until 8.00 p.m.