Health ministry cuts ‘won’t do the job’

Health minister Ab Klink’s plans to save €1bn on healthcare spending next year will probably not be realised, the government’s macro-economic forecasting agency CPB is quoted as saying in Tuesday’s NRC.

Klink hopes to save money partly by introducing more market forces into healthcare. He thinks allowing hospitals to compete on price will force down costs which in turn will help pay for the cost of the greying population.
The CPB said that while competition may boost standards it should not be assumed this will lead to lower prices. For example, liberalisation may encourage doctors to carry out more treatments which will lead to an increase in spending overall, the CPB told the paper.
Klink’s plans to allow hospitals to pay dividends to private investors in healthcare will also not lead to cost savings, the CPB told the paper.

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