Healthcare in the Netherlands is not ready for the future. The government lacks sharp and clear options. If politics continues to delay difficult decisions, health care as we know it today will not be self-evident.
This is the content of the report “Choosing Sustainability. People, Resources and Social Support” of the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR). In it, WRR takes a closer look at current health policy and explains how things can be improved.
Chancellor Marianne de Visser is the first to admit that the facts collected are generally not new. It says it is about the urgency and cohesion of the many bottlenecks. “We are sounding the alarm.”
High health care expenses
The main problem is the rise in healthcare expenditures, which now amount to about one hundred billion euros annually. WRR warns that expenditures will triple in 40 years due to an aging population, an expected increase in the number of patients with chronic diseases and a deteriorating lifestyle. An increase greater than average economic growth. In other words, healthcare threatens to undermine the growth of our wealth, according to the report.
Now about one in six to seven Dutch people working in healthcare, in twenty years that will be one in four, in 2060 one in three.
“These are numbers that cannot correspond to reality,” says de Visser. “Furthermore, they mean that if you use all of this money and all of these people for health care, you can’t use it for other public purposes. For example, education. It will pinch all parties.”
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