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Dutch News
Soldiers to practise conversation skills in multicultural 6/16/2013

Dutch solders are to spend several days next week practising their conversational skills in the multicultural districts of West and Nieuw-West Amsterdam, the Parool reports on Friday. The Parool says the defence minister thinks it important that soldiers who will have to communicate with locals during foreign missions can practice ''in a live environment''. Between 30 and 40 soldiers will be involved in the training exercises and will hold talks with local officials, police and community organisations. The districts have been chosen because of their cultural mix and will form a ''fictitious mission locality''. The soldiers will have to take into account political, religious, cultural, economic and humanitarian differences while practising their techniques, the Parool says. Soldiers will wear a military suit rather than battle dress so locals do not think their neighbourhoods have been occupied.

Dutch scientists develop light, portable artificial kidney

Researchers from the Dutch kidney foundation have developed an artificial kidney the size of an iPad which will allow patients to undergo dialysis where ever they like, RTL news reports on Friday. At the moment, kidney patients have to undergo dialysis in a hospital which takes hours at a time. The new artificial kidney will undergo human trials from 2015 and should be freely available from 2017, RTL news said. The foundation hopes it will reduce deaths among kidney patients. ‘If you can choose where and when you undergo dialysis, you can have a better fit with the way your kidneys work,’ the foundation’s director Tom Oostrom told the broadcaster. One in 250 Dutch people is a kidney patient and 6,500 undergo dialysis every day. Dutch doctor Willem Kolff developed the world’s first artificial kidney during World War II, using parts of a German bomber and sausage casings.

Dutch food safety body rarely briefed on fraud with food labels

Fraud involving wrongly labelled food is rarely reported to the authorities, Nos television reports on Thursday. Food safety inspectors received just six reports over the past two years, but experts told the broadcaster the problem is much more widespread. Nobody knows how widespread labelling fraud is ‘but I think you would scream if you knew how much there is,’ one laboratory worker told Nos. Philip den Ouden, chairman of food industry body FNLI, said: ‘Little attention is paid in the food chain to the integrity of products. Not everyone tests food. This surprises me because there is no risk analysis.’Reports If public safety is at risk, this has to be reported to the NVWA within four hours. However, there is no requirement to report wrongly labelled products. Laboratory reports are sent to the producers who then decide what action to take. A former NVWA worker told the broadcaster food fraud is not a priority. ‘It has been removed because of the cuts,’ he said. Supermarkets also test their products. A spokesman for the Albert Heijn group said: ‘We only register with the NVWA if there is a danger to health.’ The Dutch market leader was twice involved in prosecutions over the past few years.‘Every discovery of fraud should be reported, possibly to a special hotline,’ Den Ouden told the broadcaster. ‘But that will be tricky because it is a sensitive issue.’

One in five pupils at Protestant primary has measles

The number of reported cases of measles in the Bible Belt region has gone up to 67, the public health institute RIVM said on Friday. The true figure is likely to be far higher because not all patients will go to their family doctor, the RIVM told news agency ANP. The outbreak is largely affecting children aged four to 12 who attend orthodox Protestant schools. Most of the reported cases are focused on the Gisbertus Voetiusschool in the Brabant town of Andel where 50 out of 245 children have been diagnosed with measles, ANP said. Many of the country’s strict Protestant communities do not vaccinate their children on religious grounds.

Hospitals claim too much money for fitting IUD contraceptives

Health insurance company Achmea has clawed back €600,000 from 27 hospitals which had wrongly submitted bills for the cost of contraceptive IUDs, the AD reports on Thursday. Thousands of women who supplied their own IUDs for fitting were billed for both the doctor’s work and the cost of the device, the paper says.‘We don’t want to always call it fraud,’ an Achmea spokesman is quoted as saying. ‘Sometimes they are unaware. But we have a number of files which make us think it could be deliberate.’ Achmea now plans to widen its inquiry to all the country’s hospitals. A spokesman for the gynaecologists'' association NVOG told the paper it is not a question of claiming too much money. ‘Yes, the IUD has been included in the amount of money the hospital gets but that is insufficient to cover the costs,’ the spokesman said

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