Media & credits
In November 2018 something incredible happened: the Slotervaartziekenhuis in Amsterdam went bankrupt. By chance theatre group Dood Paard’s production The Tragedy of Slaughtervaart was playing at a nearby venue when the news broke. Fantasy became reality…
The Tragedy of Slaughtervaart is a play about the intrigue surrounding the turbulent history of the Slotervaartziekenhuis with as low-point the destructive leadership of Aysel Erbudak from 2006 to 2014. The Slotervaartziekenhuis was built in the 1970’s as a shining example of faith in progress. At the heart of the city’s working class neighbourhoods, a new widely-accessible medical centre was to be built which gave precedence to serving people before money and efficiency. Ironically enough, a few decennia later, the Slotervaartziekenhuis was the first Dutch hospital to fall into private hands. In 2006, it was taken over by two business partners: Jan Schram, a North Holland property developer with a chronic lung ailment who invested 26 million euro in the hospital and the flamboyant Aysel Erbudak, a self-made woman with a criminal record whose management experience up till then was limited to car parks and a call-centre. Erbudak became director of the hospital and managed affairs in her own unorthodox way. She parked her BMW in front of the institute’s revolving doors but instead of drawing a salary, she used the hospital’s credit card to pay for all her private expenses. The Slotervaartziekenhuis began a very lucrative venture in heroin production for medical use and turned a profit during the first years of the takeover. It was as if a Shakespearean character was directing a care institute. However, business instinct, inflated rhetoric and lots of cash were not enough to turn this healthcare fairytale into a success story. The Slotervaartziekenhuis sank into an ever deeper decline. Ultimately, it was saved at the brink by a business consortium.
Every treatment yields money – so the more patients you can process in up-tempo procedures, the more the cash register rings.
And all those euro’s flow into our own pockets.
That’s the model we want: fast admissions for patients, a couple of incisions, a scan or some pills – whatever – and then discharge them as quickly as possible, back to the streets to sort out their own lives.
That’s efficient, that’s understandable – and people will realize: that’s my form of idealism
Aysel in The Tragedy of Slaughtervaart
The Tragedy of Slaughtervaart is a Shakespearean tragedy loosely based on the ups and downs of the well-known Slotervaartziekenhuis with leading roles for Aysel Erbudak, Jan Schram and the hospital itself. It will be staged in a select number of theatres during the autumn of 2019.