We need a broader view of the 45-minute standard for emergency care

There are no medical scientific grounds to justify the standard that virtually every resident of the Netherlands must be able to reach a hospital’s Accident & Emergency department within 45 minutes in the event of an emergency. Indeed, in some instances, patient outcomes are influenced by rapid initial treatment at the scene of the incident. In other cases, transport to a hospital offering specialist expertise is the prime factor. Accordingly, the Health Council recommends that the geographical distribution of hospital-based emergency care facilities be viewed in a broader context.

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