Prime Minister Rutte says in Op1 he wants to talk to Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC), about his statements in the Volkskrant this weekend.
Gommers states in that interview that he was pressured in March by the Ministry of Health (VWS) to confirm that there are 1,600 IC beds available as of April 1, while he did not know that at the time.
During the debate on 26 March on IC capacity, Gommers was called by an official from VWS. "If I wanted to promise that there will be 1,600 beds this Sunday. I said: 'Listen, I'm not in the Chamber anyway, what do you think?' I thought I was being tricked. "
"While I did not know that and have no influence on the available IC beds. Then I thought: it must be. If that is so incredibly important for Minister De Jonge, then I will say so. (...) I stood perplexed. "
During the same debate, De Jonge confirms, to the relief of the chamber, the increased IC capacity as of 1 April.
In Op1 Rutte says that he can understand the image of a 'political game' that originated with Gommers, but that he did not experience it that way. "I don't think it was a political game. We had constant contact with him about the IC capacity. At some point you have to ask someone if it (the 1,600 IC beds, ed.) Is feasible."
"Diederik was the one who had to coordinate all this. I think he was asked if it was feasible. He also could have said no. It was not a result obligation," said Rutte. "The last thing I want is for him to feel pressured. I need to talk to him about that."
NU.nl has asked Gommers for a response.