‘Job problems or a bad marriage? Pay for your own psychiatric help’

People who have psychiatric problems because of trouble at work, a bad marriage or the death of a loved one, should have to pay for their own therapy, the health insurance council says in a confidential report for the health ministry.

The report, in the hands of the NRC, states only people suffering from depression or a formal psychiatric condition should be covered for help by their health insurance policy, the paper says. The plan would save tens of millions of euros a year, the paper quotes CVZ chairman Bert Boer as saying.
The CVZ advises the government on health insurance issues and drew up the report for health minister Edith Schippers. She said last May people with psychological problems caused by their personal circumstances should solve them themselves, the paper says.
‘We are saying there is a difference between being sick and not sick,’ Boer said. ‘We should not be paying for care for people who are not sick.’ The situation is similar to that of cosmetic surgery which is also not covered by health insurance, Boer is quoted as saying.
At the moment, doctors assess patients’ mental health according to a specific handbook known as the DSM-IV which categories mental illness. The handbook ‘incorrectly labels too many problems as illnesses,’ Boer told the paper.

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