Insurers jump to aid hospitals facing financial trouble due to Covid-19 crisis

The Dutch associations of health insurers ZN and hospitals NVZ have come to an agreement to help hospitals in financial trouble due to the coronavirus. Hospitals' expenses are currently skyrocketing due to the many Covid-19 patients they are treating, while income from postponed planned care is not coming in. According to the health insurers, the aid package involves billions of euros, AD reports.

"A lot of extra money has been spent on care for corona patients both on the ICU and elsewhere. Such a huge wave of patients was not counted on in the budgets at all," NVZ chairman Ad Melkert said to the newspaper. "We regularly have video conferences with hospital administrators and they say straightforward: if it lasts another week or two, we don't know if we will still be able to pay the salaries."

From May 1st, hospitals will be able to receive a monthly advance from the health insurers, "to give them space to meet their payment obligations in times of crisis", Melkert said. This includes salaries. "It would be impossible if a nurse walks through fire and you can't afford his or her holiday pay," he said.

ZN board member Ab Klink is pleased that they can offer hospitals this aid, he said to AD. "Hospitals should not worry about finances now. Let healthcare providers focus on providing much needed care."

Neither Klink or Melkert would tell AD how much money is involved in this aid, but they did confirm that it is "billions".