MPs want assurances on care cuts

People with a chronic illness or handicap should not be worse off under cabinet plans to slash spending on extra care services by €800m, a majority of MPs said on Thursday evening.

Junior health minister Jet Bussemaker wants to get a grip on overspending in the AWBZ insurance scheme by restricting spending on extra services – such as help with shopping – to severe invalids.
The AWBZ fund covers long-term nursing and other care services. It has an annual budget of €22bn but costs are rising sharply, largely due to the number of young people with psychiatric problems.
But children with autism, or adults with a light physical handicap, can apply for extra help from their local council or social services rather than from the AWBZ, Bussemaker argues.
MPs are worried that some people will lose the help they need, partly because the definition of who can claim help for extra services from the AWBZ scheme is so vague, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.
Ministers have already agreed to soften the financial blow to people living in nursing homes.
MPs say Bussemaker must come back with guarantees before September, when next year’s spending plans are published.

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