Second opinions should be covered: Health institute
An advisory board of Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health thinks that the second opinion must remain as fully reimbursed care in the basic healthcare package. The concept advice of the Healthcare Institute states that patients are entitled to a review by a second specialist.
The minister does not have to take the Healthcare Institute's advice, but often does so in practice. Schippers wants to make health care more efficient and further reduce the high costs. Last month the SP advocated for a cheaper basic health insurance package.
According to the Healthcare Institute, the second opinion is important because it helps patients be better informed about their condition and often reassures them about the treatment options. A second opinion also leads to better care because two experts have looked at the patient, according to the advisory board.
Last year the Association of Medical Specialists proposed that patients should help pay for a second opinion. According to chairman Frank de Grave, there is rarely a new diagnosis from a second physician and a second opinion entails a lot of costs. To prevent unnecessary second reviews, the Healthcare Institute will require the patient to first obtain permission from their health care insurer for a second opinion.
Yesterday representatives of civil society organizations handed a petition against the legislative proposal that will limit the free choice of doctor to the Senate. The Senate is debating on this proposal today.