Hospitals take on health insurers to thwart closure plans

Nearly half of the Netherlands’ hospitals are joining forces to put together a healthcare policy that will see off plans by the big health insurance companies to close some sites.

According to the Telegraaf, 42 of the 90 hospitals and a small health insurer are working on a new policy under a new association for cooperation between hospitals, the SAZ.
Large health insurers such as CZ, Achmea and Menzis say there are too many hospitals in the Netherlands. They want to close half of them and concentrate care in the rest to bring down costs.
The SAZ says this is the wrong approach, says the Telegraaf. They say costs will only be driven down with more cooperation between hospitals. Only then will healthcare be ‘good quality, close to the patient and affordable’.
SAZ chairman Binso Wymenga told the paper: ‘We do not want a war with the large health insurers, but we do want to make clear that concentration is not the way to go.’
What the new policy will cover and its cost has not yet been announced.