Low-income households often can't afford maternity care
The increasing costs of living are resulting in more and more women declining maternity care because they can’t afford the personal contribution, midwives and maternity nurses told Parool. Professional associations want the personal contribution scrapped so that this vital form of after-birth care remains accessible to everyone.
For families without additional insurance, the personal contribution for maternity care is 4.70 euros per hour. “If people take the minimum amount of 24 hours of maternity care, it costs them more than 100 euros,” Lucienne Bakker of the Maternity Care Collabrotation Amsterdam, in which 16 maternity care organizations work together, said to the newspaper.
“That is too much for people in financial trouble, we hear during our intake interviews with pregnant women. It causes a lot of stress, especially for women in vulnerable situations. And these are precisely the people who benefit most from maternity care,” Bakker said.
Joke Klinkert, director of KNOV, the professional association of midwives, also raised concerns. “For years, we have seen that vulnerable families consider the personal contribution as a barrier to maternity care. Of course, with all the rising costs that burden people, that comes under even more pressure. As a result, people who are most vulnerable miss this care - and it is much needed.”
In June, the KNOV, the Dutch Patient Federation, and the professional association of gynecologists NVOG sent a letter to parliament asking them to scrap the personal contribution for maternity care. Having a baby is already expensive due to baby equipment and diapers, and new parents often earn less during parental leave. On top of that, parents have to spend 175 euros on the NIPT test, a possible 450 euros on an outpatient birth, and up to 202 euros for maternity care.
“There is no personal contribution for necessary care,” the KNOV said. And maternity care is absolutely necessary care.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, has not yet responded to this call.