Maastricht, December 2, 2021

Subject: Open letter regarding accessibility of the Covid-19 test street

Dear bench,

We are currently in the 4th wave that is unparalleled and leaves traces everywhere. The impact of this wave is immense given that many frail elderly people die from covid-19. As we have indicated before, there is a transport problem, for all kinds of reasons, for those people who are eligible for a booster shot. This booster shot is often omitted with all the associated consequences.

Party Maastricht Safe sees the same phenomenon when these vulnerable elderly people want to be tested for covid-19. The moment they suffer from symptoms and want to be tested, they must make an appointment at a test location in the region or even outside the region. Even making the appointment is often quite a chore for these elderly people.

It often concerns single senior citizens, that can’t rely on family or friends, who suffer from underlying health problem. As soon as they request a PCR-test at a test location, problems emerge. They cannot use taxis, public transport or Omnibuzz. With no other options available, they are basically stuck in the middle. Quarantine is the only option left. Additional care is therefore often not offered. After all, the GP is only notified by the GGD if a PCR test has been taken (provided that permission has also been granted by the person concerned).

Only the seriously ill at home, often bedridden, are eligible for a PCR test at home, administered by the general practitioner or home care worker. Party Maastricht Safe wonders why this approach is not being rolled out more widely. After all, the vulnerable elderly, who are not eligible, are not to blame for this. In general we always state that senior citizens should live independent lives at their homes as long as possible, but when this group asks for specific help, no one shoots into action.

We expect that the responsible alderman will initiate a conversation with the GGD and the GP’s in order to make it possible for seniors the get tested at home, when needed. We have a mouthful of the fact that Maastricht is a social city in which everyone counts. So let’s make this happen, because as we have indicated before, this is certainly not the last covid wave. By properly arranging it now, we ensure the  wellbeing of our seniors.

On behalf of Party Maastricht Safe,

Bert Garnier
city councilor

John Voorst
civilian member of the city council