Senate passes long-term care reforms
Long-term care for the elderly and disabled is to be redeveloped. Yesterday the Senate approved the Act long-term care (Wet langdurige zorg - Wlz) which guarantees assistance for people who need 24 hours a day care.
The starting point for the Wlz is that assistance does not necessarily have to be in an institution and that people have more say about the care they need. The new law is seen as a culmination of the reforms of the Cabinet in the field of care and replaces the national insurance AWBZ (General Act Exceptional Medical Expenses).
In 2012 nearly 800 thousand people made use of the AWBZ. Next year the Wlz will arrange a place in a care- or nursing home for 280 thousand people who need a lot of care. The VVD, CDA, D66, PvdA, SGP and ChristenUnie rallied behind this law, accounting for a large majority in the Senate.
"The Wlz is being called the keystone of the reform in long-term care. That it is, but it also the beginning. The beginning of the renewal and improvement of long-term care in the Netherlands." says State Secretary Martin van Rijn.
The Cabinet is reforming the long term-care in order to better respond to the wishes of many older people to live at home as long as possible. Attention was brought to the issue of long-term care for the elderly and disabled when State Secretary Van Rijn's father, Joop van Rijn, and his neighbor Ben Oude Nijhuis criticized the care their wives are receiving in an interview. This led to a debate in the Second Chamber in which State Secretary Van Rijn promised to better supervise nursing homes and care facilities.
From January 1st it will be the municipalities' task to arrange support for the elderly, chronically ill and disabled living at home. The healthcare insurers will be responsible for nursing and care at people's homes.