Minister Schippers Saves a Billion in Healthcare Deal
THE HAGUE, 17/07/13 - Turnover growth in the healthcare sector will be limited to 1 percent from 2015. Additionally, GPs will be less quick to prescribe medicines for their patients and send them to hospital.
Health Minister Edith Schippers announced Tuesday that she has made agreements wit the sector. She has calculated that she will be able to reduce spending permanently by about one billion euros from 2015 now that negotiations on healthcare spending have been positively concluded.
It was agreed that healthcare spending will be allowed to go up by 1.5 percent in 2014, but from 2015, this will be 1 percent. Under the coalition accord, 2 percent growth ceiling was agreed. Only GPs are allowed to grow by more if they treat patients who would otherwise land up with more expensive specialists.
The coalition accord also agreed a retrenchment of the basic health insurance package by 1.5 billion euros. GPs will be stricter with the provision of insured healthcare, meaning that only 300 million euros has to be saved on the basic insurance package.
“A further shrinking of the basic package has been averted,” was the reaction of André Rouvoet, chairman of health insurers’ body Zorgverzekeraars Nederland (ZN). "As a result, everyone remains assured of a broad package of healthcare.”
The approach is also that which healthcare components are and are not paid for must become clearer for patients, and which dentist or GP does or does not have a contract with their health insurer. It has also been agreed that the so-called restitution policy which offers an insured person more freedom of choice will continue to exist in the basic package.
The minster has been negotiating in the recent period with hospitals, medical specialists, GPs, psychiatric healthcare specialists, health insurers and patients’ organisations. All organisations will present the agreements positively to their members.
The minister had already concluded an accord to rein in rising healthcare spending earlier. Earlier this year, it emerged that the government for the first time spent less on healthcare than budgeted. In 2012, there had still been an overrun of 1.1 billion euros. This year, it appeared in the Spring Budget Memorandum that there was 100 million euros left, among other reasons because insurers by in healthcare at sharp prices and inexplicable differences between treatments in hospital have been tackled.