No toilet, now what? Half of bladder patients stay at home out of fear

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The lack of toilets in municipalities is apparent from research by the Maag Lever Bowel Foundation (MLDS) and the Continence Foundation Netherlands (CSN). They want to have a toilet every 500 meters in places like shopping centers or other busy areas.

Wild eaters and poepers

For the study, 111 municipalities were asked about toilet policy. 53 percent say they have not drawn up a budget for the availability of public toilets, 39 percent do not think this is necessary either. However, 75 percent say they are working on the problem, for the inclusion of Dutch people with stomach and bladder complaints.

Due to the corona crisis, there are even fewer toilets available than before. Many catering entrepreneurs closed their doors. Now that they are open again, passers-by are not just admitted. One in ten municipalities had more problems with urinators and poepers.

Judge on public urine fine of Marco Kroon

The military subdistrict court in Arnhem is ruling this afternoon in the case of Major Marco Kroon, who contested his fine of 140 euros that he received last year for urinating in public during the carnival in Den Bosch.

The bearer of the military Order of William argued at the court that he did not have time to reach a toilet car or pee column, because it was too busy. “I did everything I could, but I couldn’t stop it. It was pure force majeure,” Kroon said to the judge two weeks ago. His lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops argued that there are far too few toilet facilities for people with bladder problems in the center of Den Bosch, especially during carnival.

Today it is the National Plasdag, an initiative of the CSN in collaboration with the MLDS. The day is intended to remove the taboo around urinary complaints. In the Netherlands, about a million people suffer from an overactive bladder and half a million people are incontinent.

‘Not there yet’

“Everyone should just dare to go out if he or she wants to,” says 26-year-old Leon, who received a bladder stoma as a baby. “Having to limit yourself because you have to think about finding a toilet in time, that is really impossible nowadays.”

According to Elleke Berkhof, spokesman for the MLDS, municipalities must take action. “We are far from reaching our goal of a publicly accessible toilet every 500 meters. We continue to chase municipalities. Making policy is fun, but you can’t go to the toilet with that.”

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