Patient fees are reducing the demand for psychiatric help

The introduction of a fee for psychiatric care has led to a considerable drop in demand, news agency Novum reported at the weekend.

The agency bases its claims on research by the regional health bureaus GGZ. First-time patients now have to pay a fee of up to €200 – this comes on top of the €220 own-risk element attached to all health insurance policies. Patients requiring clinical care lasting longer than a month have to pay an extra €145 a month.
The GGZ expects an 11% drop in demand for out-patient services and a 5% drop for clinical care. This, in turn, will lead to 5,000 fewer jobs in the sector, including clinical and support staff.
Research by Trouw and the Parool in February showed the number of people visiting a psychiatrist has dropped by up to 25% since the fee was introduced.
In Gelderland, the number of registrations for psychiatric care has dropped 12%, while in Amsterdam the Jellinek addiction clinic reported a 25% drop in new patients.
Every year, 450,000 apply for some form of psychiatric care, and if the trend continues, 50,000 fewer people will be helped, Trouw said at the time.

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