Mental healthcare cuts hurt all Dutch: report

Since the cut backs in mental healthcare (GGZ) in 2012, the waiting lists have grown, causing the gravity of psychological stress to increase and more emergency admissions to occur.

This is evident from a study done by Abvakabo FNV among 1,578 workers in mental health care. The mental health staff also indicate that the quality of care has decreased, the administration pressure has increased tremendously and that they have less time for patients. Mental healthcare is hardly affordable for people with lower incomes.

Because the costs in mental healthcare has increased significantly, the Cabinet and the Dutch Association for Mental Health and Addiction care have made a number of agreements since 2012 that should lead to the reduction of these costs. The number of inpatients in mental health institutions should decrease and simultaneously help from the house doctor and home care should increase.

37 percent of respondents indeed saw that the number of inpatients in institutions decreased, but 73 percent indicated that the gravity of care increased. According to Anja Dijkman from Abvakabo FNV, care from the house doctor is covered by basic insurance, but mental healthcare is not. "People therefore raise the alarm later, or even so late that an emergency admission is required. The mental healthcare has become less accessible, especially for people with low incomes."

82 percent of respondents indicated that the mental health care industry is more and more focused on costs rather than good care. Two thirds of workers say that the quality of care decreases, because they have less and less time for the patient." says Dijkma, "Practitioners, nurses and counselors spend more than 30 percent of their time on administration. They can use that time better by caring for patients."