Hospital prices fell outside state-controlled sector

Hospital prices for treatment which is no longer set by the government went down 3% last year, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Wednesday.

This means the explosion in prices in the free sector which was expected by many has failed to materialise, the paper says.
The paper bases its claims on a report on the cost of medical specialist treatment by the Dutch healthcare authority.
The report also shows that fees set by private clinics are around 15% below that of public hospitals.
The Netherlands now has some 184 private clinics, up from 37 in 2005. Nevertheless, they only account for €350m of the total hospital bill of €18bn, the paper said.
Free prices
Hospitals are free to determine their own charges for some 30% of treatments. The rest are fixed by the government.
Last week, the Volkskrant reported that healthcare minister Edith Schippers hopes to increase competition between healthcare providers and give hospitals the right to set nearly all of their own prices, as part of a shake-up of healthcare provision.
In addition, the minister plans to look for other sources of income for hospitals so they do not have to rely on the banks to borrow money.

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