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    The emergency services cannot speak Dutch


    Mayors Jan Spooren (Tervuren) and Dirk Brankaer (Overijse) complained on Saturday that Druivenstreek (South-East Brussels) residents who call the emergency services have to deal with people that don’t speak Dutch. Patients are regularly transported to Brussels hospitals, where they have to deal with the same problem.

    The two mayors have said this situation is “unacceptable”. “This causes delays and communication problems that can put lives in danger”, said Spooren (New Flemish Alliance) and Brankaer (OV2002/New Flemish Alliance/Christian Democrats) in a press release.

    Regarding the situation in Brussels hospitals, they argue, to conform to the language laws there has to be a bilingual service. “In practice, that is not generally the case”, the two mayors said.

    Spooren and Brankaer insist that at least one person who speaks Dutch must be onboard an ambulance when an emergency in this language comes through.  

    Maria Novak (Source: Belga)