The Saint-Luc hospital in Brussels calls the views of infectiologist Jean-Luc Gala ‘counterproductive’. The hospital has announced via Twitter that it ‘unambiguously distances itself’ from its statements. ‘It is very exceptional for a hospital to distance itself from a doctor.’
On Tuesday evening, Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke (SP.A) was involved To the point is still particularly shocked at the statements of infectiologist Jean-Luc Gala. ‘This man is unimaginably frivolous. You don’t have to be an infectiologist to know that if your intensive hospital beds fill up, and that doubles, we’ll go right up against the wall, ‘the minister sneered.
The hospital where the infectiologist is the head of department also appears not to be set up with his views. “As a major academic player in Belgium, the Saint-Luc hospital is keen to actively participate in the public debate, especially through its scientific experts,” the hospital writes on Twitter. “Still, Saint-Luc wants to distance itself unequivocally from the counterproductive interventions of Professor Jean-Luc Gala, whose views run counter to the hospital’s values and scientific positioning.”
Gala, who is also a professor of infectious diseases at UCL, had again lashed out at experts and calls them, among other things, ‘panic mongers’. According to him, closing the catering industry was not necessary. In an interview with The last news that appeared on Tuesday, he called the closure of the catering industry bullshit. Gala remains firmly behind his earlier statements, in which he brushed aside concerns about the rising numbers. He refers to experts as ‘panic mongers’.
Renaud Mazy, CEO of Saint-Luc, does not wish to comment further.
‘It is very exceptional for a hospital to distance itself from a doctor’, says Marc Noppen, CEO of UZ Brussel. ‘The fact that a hospital really turns away is almost exclusively the case in cases of, for example, #metoo. It’s seldom about substantive themes. ‘ Noppen was also baffled by Gala’s statements. This summer, UZ Brussel distanced itself from Frank Van Tussenbroek, head of the Angio and Neuro Interventional Radiology department. He had published an open letter on the Virus Madness website. ‘That was a one-time reprimand. And afterwards, the doctor also rectified this. Gala is persistent. ‘
In a conversation with De Standaard, Geert Molenberghs, biostatistician at Hasselt University and KU Leuven, pointed out the danger of such statements. Molenberghs argues that ‘reassurance‘if Gala has unnecessarily put the measures into perspective in French-speaking Belgium and believes that this may have played a role in the violent outbreak in Liege and Hainaut, among others.