Made in the United States, made in Germany, but used in Dutch hospitals: Philips is supplying up to 1,000 ventilators and 1,000 patient monitoring systems in the near future. The order comes from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and was caused by the rapidly increasing need as a result of the corona crisis. The first patient monitoring systems were delivered yesterday (Friday) from the Philips plants in Germany; today (Saturday) these were followed by the first batch of ventilators from Philips factories in the United States. This was announced today by the Dutch healthcare company.
These medical devices are vital in the care of patients with COVID-19. Philips expects it will take some months to complete the delivery. The medical equipment is distributed among the various hospitals in the Netherlands on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Partly thanks to these devices, the number of beds for corona patients in Intensive Care can be further increased.
A few days ago Philips was still concerned about the delivery of the devices from the US. This was because the U.S. President Trump had rescinded a 1950 law that gives him the right to keep the equipment in his own country, the Defense Production Act. “We are concerned”, said Steve Klink, spokesman for Philips, earlier this week to NOS. “We’re seeing things that were unthinkable a few weeks ago. We’re talking to the US and we’re hoping we can solve this together.”
For the moment this strategy seems to work, observes Martin van Rijn, Minister of Medical Care in the Netherlands. “The cabinet is doing everything in its power to increase the IC capacity with ventilation equipment as much as possible,” says Martin van Rijn, Minister for Medical Care. “That’s why this supply of ventilation equipment and patient monitoring systems is so important. But we are not there yet, there still is a great need for more equipment. Follow-up deliveries must also come to the Netherlands as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, Philips is increasing the production capacity of ventilators and patient monitoring systems. “We are working closely with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport to ensure that we can deliver everything in the coming weeks and months,” says Henk Valk, CEO of Philips Benelux. “Our colleagues in the US and Germany are working around the clock to quickly increase production. Parallel to this, our team is working with Dutch hospitals to increase the number of beds in Intensive Care”. Philips says it has already converted more than 150 normal hospital beds to beds with patient monitoring systems in recent days. “And we will continue to do so.”
Elon Musk also purchased a batch of Philips ventilators. In total, he bought 1,255 ventilators from three manufacturers – ResMed, Philips and Medtronic – last week. He said to the BBC that his company would be giving all its ventilators away “whether we buy them or build them”.