Smaller hospitals more efficient: survey

The ongoing wave of mergers in the Dutch hospital sector has failed to increase efficiency and reduce costs, according to research by consultancy firm Roland Berger Strategy, reports Thursday’s Volkskrant.

Smaller hospitals are easier to manage, have less bureaucracy and doctors and patients have a closer relationship, the researchers said.
‘It has been deliberate policy to let hospitals merge but no synergy advantages have been realised,’ Roland Berger’s Tijo Collot d’Escury told the paper. ‘Unfortunately it is now too late to turn back the clock.’
The research shows that the Netherlands has 82,000 residents per hospital, far more than in neighbouring countries such as France, Germany and Belgium. Hospitals in other countries are also more efficient than in the Netherlands with a higher bed occupancy rate and specialists treating more patients.
In Elsevier magazine’s annual hospital survey published on Wednesday, Sionsberg hospital in the Frisian town of Dokkum was voted the best in the country. It scored high in terms of good nursing care and its close working relationship with GPs and other local healthcare organisations. The Tergooi hospital in Hilversum was second.
In Roland Berger’s own survey, the Sint Jansdal hospital in Harderwijk emerged as the best in the country.

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