For-profit hospitals get go-ahead
The Cabinet and Parliament have approved plans for hospitals to start making profits, which will be paid out to investors, such as pension funds. This plan from Minister Edith Schippers of Health received support from governing parties VVD and PvdA, as well as D66. The profitability of hospitals in The Netherlands is a controversial topic, and has been causing ideological conflicts among parties for years. The VVD and D66 believe that banks are not fothcoming enough with financial provisions to hospitals, and are looking for ways to bring more private sector money to the healthcare sector. The Minister believes that hospitals can be fertile ground for investments from, for example, pension funds. The investment climate has to improve, Schippers knows, if the quality of healthcare in the country also wants to improve. Renske Leijten, MP for one of the opposing parties, the SP, says that healthcare should not become a market. She expexts quality of healthcare will go down. She expects that hospitals that have received investors will focus on turnover and profit, leaving patients that may not be profitable at the wayside. Patients who need expensive care will get priority. Leijten points out that hospitals have reserves, which are enough to satisfy Schippers' demand for private investment. The MP wants Schippers to keep in mind that a social plan, if it is necessary, also needs money. PVV and CDA are also against the plan. For this plan to go through, Minister Schippers still needs to go through The Senate, where her party, the VVD has a lack of seats. The CDA is therefore necessary for this plan to receive majority Senate support. One CDA Senator has announced to be behind the plan.