Hospitals may get more say on fees

Hospitals could be free to set more of their own prices than agreed in the coalition accord, health minister Ab Klink Health says in an interview in today’s Financieele Dagblad.

At the moment hospitals can decide their own fees (within set limits) for 10% of treatments – mainly straightforward operations such as cataract removals or hip replacements. The coalition government has agreed to increase this to 20%.
‘The next step could be 30% or 40% by 2009. Or if it appears that there is confidence in the system there could be a more ambitious move to 70% in 2010,’ Klink told the paper.
The minister stressed that there must be transparency when it comes to the quality of health treatment if the free market is to be extended.
Coalition partner Labour is surprised at Klink’s ambitions which it feels go too far, reports the newspaper. ‘This will be a point of discussion because it was not agreed in the coalition agreement,’ Labour MP Eelke van der Veen told the paper.

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