People avoiding doctor visits to save money

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Because of the price hike of the mandatory own risk in medical insurance, patients are more often hesitant to have lab research done, get medicine or visit a specialist, Het Parool reports.

Results from an inspection around Amsterdam's doctors and pharmacists shows that especially in poorer areas, medical insurers experience on a daily basis that patients do not follow a doctor's advice due to unfavorable financial situations.

According to one general practitioner's office in Amsterdam Noord, some patients don't even have insurance anymore.

The higher price of the mandatory own risk insurance, from €150 when the policy was introduced in 2008 to €360 since this year, results in a drop of patients going to the doctor. According to Het Parool, the price may even go up to €400 next year.

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health said on the 28th of July that the hike did not cause a drop in patients seeking medical care. These findings contradict the Minister's statements.