Health budget cuts to fall on elderly

Junior health minister Jet Bussemaker has received qualified support from labour and liberal colleagues for her plan to save at least €500m by cutting care for the elderly, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

The Labour party (PvdA) minister is facing a shortfall of €1.3bn in the health budget, half of which comes from care of the elderly and handicapped. She wants to tackle this by cutting help with shopping and home visits. She is also considering cutting the budgets of under-performing nursing and care homes.
Labour MP Agnes Wolbert is happy with the idea of punishing under-performing nursing and care homes, according to the Volkskrant. She also supports taking a critical look at the extra help given to the elderly. Her liberal (VVD) colleague Anouchka van Miltenburg, however, warns the minister that the handicapped must not pay the price of an aging population.
Agnes Kant of the Socialist Party told the paper Bussemaker is taking ‘the easy way out’ and that big savings can be made by cutting bureaucracy in health care.
The plans will be under discussion prior to presentation of the budget on September 20.

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