Dutch PM appoints opposition minister as new Health Secretary

(EURONEWS) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has appointed an opposition MP as the country’s new health minister to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Martin van Rijn, the former Labour party health secretary, has been appointed the Minister for Medical Care on a temporary basis for 3 months.

“He has years of experience in healthcare and knows the Ministry well,” Mark Rutte said on Twitter.

Van Rijn takes over from Bruno Bruins, who resigned after collapsing from exhaustion during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.

The decision has received widespread praise across Dutch politics.

Labour party leader Lodewijk Asscher tweeted his praise for “everyone who steps forward during this difficult time”.

“If there is a national health crisis, you must help where you can”. Pieter Heerma, chairperson of the CDA party, said van Rijn was a “very strong choice” for the role.

“In this crisis we need authority, peace and experience. He is the right person for that.”

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