'Dutch healthcare risks becoming unaffordable unless hospitals close'
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Some hospitals in the Netherlands will have to close to stop the health service becoming too expensive for patients, a new study has warned.

In a report to health minister Edith Schippers, The Council for Public Health and Healthcare (Raad voor Volksgezondheid en Zorg) said the Dutch healthcare system needed a fundamental overhaul in the next decade to address the needs of an ageing population.

The council says the number of hospitals and emergency treatment centres needs to be significantly reduced by 2020 to ensure care remains affordable.

Under its plans, specialised care would be concentrated in a smaller number of expert facilities, while more straightforward treatment would be decentralised.

Healthcare should be provided locally “where possible” but “further away if necessary”, the report said.

Specialists and care providers would work together across regional networks rather than being based in separate hospital facilities.

The council says this would ensure patients continued to receive effective and cost-efficient care.

Source: NRC: ‘In 2020 minder ziekenhuizen om zorg betaalbaar te houden’
Photo by Marco Derksen


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