I had a long career in the health care sector in Canada before moving to the Netherlands a couple of years ago. The language barrier has made it difficult for me to find work in health care here, so when I heard about the International Panel at the new SGE International, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved. With my skills and experience, I was able to make a meaningful contribution to the creation of a high quality medical centre for internationals. Although all the members of the International Panel are from different nations and backgrounds, our needs and wants in terms of health care are very similar and we all share a common goal – to make health care easier for internationals.
The major challenges are understanding how the health care system works in the Netherlands coupled with the difficulty of communicating your needs and worries when Dutch is not your mother tongue. On the International Panel, we were able to share our thoughts and concerns regarding these challenges and the organisers were open to our suggestions and valued our input. It has been an honour to work with such caring people who are dedicated to helping internationals within our community. And now, as a user of the Centre, I have the confidence that I will be treated with skill, knowledge and competence in a welcoming environment in my own language. I am proud to say that I have as much faith in SGE International as in my health care services in Canada!
Vicki van Eeghem (Canada)