More focus needed on prevention as healthcare threatens to become unaffordable: Report
Healthcare in the Netherlands threatens to become unaffordable, according to a report by two major Dutch healthcare institutions. Financing needs to be overhauled so that more attention is paid to prevention and "meaningful care", and so that the healthcare system becomes less of a "revenue model", the Dutch healthcare authority NZa and Zorginstituut said in a report to Minister Tamara van Ark for Medical Care, NRC reports.
"We do not have the freedom to think about this for a long time," Zorginstituut chairman Sjaak Wijma said to the newspaper. If things continue as they do now, a quarter of all Netherlands residents will have to work in healthcare by 2040. "That's a no go," he said.
The NZa and Zorginstituut therefore suggested a number of measures that could turn the healthcare system's attention more towards care that works and less towards profits. More attention must be paid to prevention in healthcare, they said. And doctors and therapists need to more quickly stop treatments that does not work. There should also be better cooperation between healthcare institutions. The report also suggests not rewarding care providers per treatment, but based on the outcome of the care.
While there is haste with making changes to the Dutch healthcare system, these changes also need to be made with extreme care, the NZa and Zorginstituut warned. "Healthcare is very complex, especially if you want to remove barriers between different branches," Josefien Kursten of the NZa said to NRC. They therefore suggest finalizing the first changes in the next two or three years.