Patient Advocate: Linda Burger
My name is Linda Burger. I am 46 years old and I am very happy together with my dearest partner Kees en my 2 great sons Jeroen and Jelle. I am working as manager of the non-surgical wards and member of the management team in the Westfriesgasthuis in Hoorn.
As a former nurse I tried to give my patients the best care I could, but I got retained by all the rules in the healthcare system. These systems are built around the doctor instead of the patient. It is about planning or logistic schedules and there is a lot of waste in bureaucratic duties. In my own hospital we are changing step by step but it’s deeply integrated in how we work in hospitals for the last 40 years. So changing it will be a big challenge but will be necessary because the patients role is increasing. Patients expect to be supported in their self-management instead of adapting to the hospital system.
I believe in an equal relationship between the doctor and the patient. As a patient, you are the specialist of your own life. As a doctor or healthcare worker, you are the specialist of illness and medical treatments. Only together the best possible cure and care will arise.
Since April this year I am facing breast cancer. A big shock for myself and my loved ones. Now I have to adapt myself to the system which makes me feel dependent. Instead of that, I want to be in control as much as I can.
As a patients advocate I want to use my influence by combining my experiences as a patient and my knowledge as a manager to reach my goal: an equal relationship between patient and doctor by facilitating and empowering the patient in all our hospital systems.