Half of Netherlands' healthcare budget goes to over-65-year-olds

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Elderly lady in a nursing home (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Magnus Fröderberg). Elderly lady in a nursing home (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Magnus Fröderberg)

Half of the money dedicated to healthcare in the Netherlands is used by people aged 65 and over, according to information center Vektis. Last year 28 billion euros of the healthcare budget was spent on caring for the elderly, NU.nl reports.

Long-term care for the elderly carried the highest price tag last year at 11 billion euros. Hospital care followed in second place at 8.4 billion dollars, and district nursing in third at 2.8 billion euros. On average, the care for each person over the age of 65 costs 8,650 euros.

According to the researchers, most elderly people use five or more medicines. People aged over 85 receive district nursing for an average of nine hours per week. More than a fifth of people between the ages of 75 and 84 have diabetes. And 14 percent in that age group have asthma. 

Almost 3.3 million people in the Netherlands are 65 years old or older. That is one in five Dutch people. In 2030, that ratio is expected to increase to one in four. The Netherlands also counts nearly 2 thousand residents over the age of 100. Vektis expects that number to also increase in the coming years.

The Limburg municipality of Vaals has the highest concentration of elderly residents, with 32 percent of its population being over 65 years of age, followed by the Noord-Holland municipalities of Laren and Bergen. Urk, Almere and Utrecht have the lowest proportion of elderly residents with less than 11 percent. 

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