Less Health Care Provided In 2012

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The number of visits to the outpatient department of hospitals has for the first time fell in years. Since 2008 the number of outpatient visits increased year on year, but fell in 2012 by 1.4 percent.

The number of admissions decreased as well as the length of hospital stay. The number of outpatient care for the length of a day increased in 2012 by 2.2 percent compared to the previous year. This is evident from the industry report published Tuesday by the Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ).

The NVZ has no explanation for this decline. "Maybe it's because of the higher deductibles, maybe it's because some people try to avoid care. We are going to investigate this," said a spokesman of the NVZ. Possibly there will be more clarity on this later this year.

According to the association, hospitals have started working more efficiently in recent years. This made that last year care was provided for 380 million, which was 4 percent less than premeditated.

Spending on general hospitals were the last 4 years around 2.2 to 2.3 percent of gross domestic product. That seems to be a stable figure.