Health reforms up to next cabinet

It would be irresponsible to scrap the no-claim bonus from Dutch healthcare insurance next year health minister Hans Hoogervoorst told MPs today.

In a memo to parliament Hoogervoorst said there is not enough time to develop alternatives or solve the €2 bn funding gap which would be created if the system was scrapped in the next three months. Changes could be made in 2008 at the earliest and would be the responsibility of the next government. Most political parties want the clause removed in 2007.
Paying for healthcare is set to be one of the major issues in the campaign leading up to the November 22 election. All political parties apart from the VVD have called for an end to the no-claim system, arguing that it is unfair on people with chronic health problems. Under the scheme, people who make little demand on the health service get a rebate on their insurance premiums of up to €255 a year. A basic health insurance policy currently costs around €1,000. The Christian Democrats, (CDA) who are the VVD’s coalition partner, have also come out in favour of scrapping no-claim bonuses, despite having introduced them just one year ago. But CDA leader Maxime Verhagen said in today’s Telegraaf that Labour’s (PvdA) plans to introduce income-related fees for treatment would hit teachers, nurses and police officers particularly hard. Double-income families would pay €650 more a year.

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