Specialized clinics want to help hospitals provide scheduled procedures
The umbrella organization Independent Clinics Netherlands (ZKN) said specialized clinics want to assist hospitals with providing scheduled care, NOS reported.
The healthcare system has been struggling to provide planned surgeries due to the pandemic. Between 180 thousand to 200 thousand surgeries have been postponed, the Dutch Health Authorities (NZa) said in September. The independent clinics said they could perform procedures such as knee, hip, and eye operations.
"To do that, the clinics need to get the financial capacity," a ZKN spokesperson told NOS. He said the Cabinet and health insurance companies need to support specialized clinics in taking over the workload from hospitals. The ZKN wants to expand its capacity by extending opening hours and working on the weekends. "Thereby, we can help with catching up on the care of between 100 thousand to 150 thousand patients," the ZKN spokesperson said.
The umbrella organization for health insurers (ZN) said they are working on using the specialized clinics to provide care as best possible. "We want the insured to get the treatment they need as soon as possible," a ZN spokesperson said.
The NZa emphasized that while there is room for specialized clinics to increase their capacity, they are not always able to provide the necessary follow-up care.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he would prefer specialized clinics to scale down on their scheduled care and send healthcare workers to assist with hospital emergency care.