Everyone is insured for emergency care, even teen drunks: minister

Health minister Edith Schippers has rejected calls from a hospital chief for teenage drunks to be made to pay for their own hospital stay, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Herre Kingma, head of the Twente Medisch Spectrum hospital, said last week making teenagers who drink so much they become unconscious pay their own bills would save society €10m a year.
Schippers told the Volkskrant everyone is insured for emergency care. ‘Whoever needs care which is covered in the basic health insurance package will get it, that is their right,’ Schippers said.
The minister said it would be wrong to pick and choose who can have treatment. ‘You can think about the easily identifiable risks like smoking, alcohol and drugs,’ she said. ‘But what about someone who drives round a corner at 180 kph in an area where 80 kph is the speed limit… or someone with hiv who has unsafe sex.’
In addition, it is impossible to check behaviour, the minister said. ‘A smoker can say he does not smoke, and lung problems can also have other causes,’ she said.

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