Sun Nov 28th, 2021 at 12:21:12 AM EST
Interview Marcel Levi
Why did you come back from London? You were there for four and a half years, not even that long.
"I had three assignments there when I started and after just under four years they were finished. I had to bring the universities and hospitals closer together, there had to be automation and there were performance problems: waiting times and accessibility and all that. At the beginning of 2020 I was just talking with the chairman about my new goals and then corona started. That was all-consuming and at the beginning of this year I thought: now I have to make a decision. Four more years? I was very pleased there, but not with British society, and at that moment I received an email that this position was becoming vacant. Exactly what I wanted. Just a little bit different, my world anyway, and can be combined with the AMC. I have my old patients back. Some I have known for twenty-five years."
Patients with blood diseases.
"Blood clotting diseases are my specialty, but I do all kinds of things, sometimes quite complicated things."
In London, you said earlier, you saw diseases that we have not seen here for centuries.
"At first I found it fascinating, later it started to annoy me. You think: London, metropolis, modern, beautiful, a lot is happening, and that is true, but the poverty is extreme. Everywhere you see tents with people sleeping on the street, sometimes whole families. Hey? Is this Europe? This can not be? That poverty washes up in the emergency room and then you see people with scurvy, with crazy ulcers, with tumors bulging from their bodies, people who cough blood. In the first picture you take you see a huge tumor in the lungs. That is exceptional in the Netherlands, it is normal there."
How is that possible in a country where health care is free?
"If you live on the street, or if you are illegal, you apparently wait until it really doesn't work anymore. It is a harsh society, without social safety nets. If you lose your job, you get three months' salary, and that's it. During the visits I had learned not to say: you can go home tomorrow. Home? I don't have a house. In the Netherlands we pay more tax - fine. You do have safety nets here. And a great infrastructure. The cycle paths, the roads: really incomparable with England. With every other country in the world, for that matter."
Yet we are furious.
"Crazy, huh. The better things go, the angrier we get. You have to have a lot of knowledge in the field of psychology and sociology if you want to understand that. I have never read a good answer anywhere. People talk about freedom being taken from them while they are demonstrating. They talk about the limitations as if something terrible is being done to them. Is it really that bad? It's in their heads and they turn each other on."
[Interview credit NRC Newspaper]
My earlier posts about Dr. Marcel Levi
The gathering storm ...