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Surgeon suspended in Holland worked at St. Maarten Medical Center two months


~ Left in July to work in France ~

CAY HILL–Dutch surgeon Robert Muller, who was suspended by the Dutch Inspectorate of Health for fatal mistakes during vascular surgery performed in the Netherlands, had been working as a General Surgeon at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for two months this year.

SMMC Director Kees Klarenbeek told The Daily Herald on Friday that Muller left the hospital on July 12 to take up a position in France.

Muller is accused of fatal mistakes at Bethesda hospital in Hoogeveen in the east of the Netherlands, Dagblad van het Noorden newspaper in Holland reported on Thursday.

The Dutch Inspectorate of Health has been looking for Muller for months, but he could not be found.

In an invited comment, Health Minister Cornelius de Weever said he was gathering the relevant information for a press release.

Klarenbeek said Muller had not done any vascular surgeries during his employ at SMMC. He said during his probation period, Muller decided that he would leave SMMC to take up a position in France, and he left the medical center on July 12, 2013.

“Before his hiring, background checks were done in the BIG registration, which is a database that contains the background information of all medical doctors, who have been employed in the Netherlands. The record of Dr. Muller in the BIG registration did not show any negative information,” said the SMMC Director. “Background checks were also done in South Africa and Austria, where he recently worked; this too did not show any negative information and neither did the search on the Internet.”

“It is important to note, that the responsibility of hiring medical specialists at SMMC falls under the Board of Directors. The BOD tried everything in its possibility to check the background of the potential candidate before hiring. Again, at that time of making the decision to hiring Dr. Muller, there was no negative information that could have led to not hiring him,” Klarenbeek noted.

“The background of all attending specialists is important to SMMC, as we seek to provide the community of St. Maarten with the best possible care by the best possible specialists.”

Dagblad van het Noorden reported that the Dutch Inspectorate announced last week that one of Muller’s patients died after complex vascular surgery was performed on him at Bethesda hospital, March 4, 2012. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, it concerned an unnatural death, which was reported to the Inspectorate.

The hospital also reported the calamity. According to the Inspectorate, Muller has made serious mistakes and should have requested the assistance of a vascular surgeon. Before starting at Hoogeveen Hospital as interim-surgeon, Muller had been working as a surgeon in Bocholt, Germany. The German hospital declined to provide any information about him, citing privacy reasons, the Dutch paper said.

Muller was hired in Hoogeveen on an annual contract. Things went wrong shortly before the contract expired. The Dutch Inspectorate of Health has no jurisdiction in St. Maarten.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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