Court approves cancellation of new dentistry fee system

The experiment allowing dentists to set their own fees can be cancelled, judges ruled on Wednesday.

Dentists’ organisations had gone to court in an effort to have the cancellation overturned.
The Dutch health council NZa concluded earlier this year that fees had gone up by more than was acceptable, a finding which prompted parliament to scrap the project. Health minister Edith Schippers had wanted the experiment to continue.
A spokesman for the Dutch dentists’ association ANT told RTL news one reason prices had risen by so much is that the fee system had been simplified and standardised, making it impossible to compare last year’s prices with this year’s.
Dentists have been free to determine their own charges since the beginning of the year, a move Schippers said would improve quality and lead to lower charges.
However, fees went up an average 9.6% in the first three months of this year, according to research by the national health authority NZa which was published at the end of June. An ordinary check-up has gone up by an average 3.1% while crowns are some 18.5% more expensive to place, the NZa survey showed.
Most dental insurance policies only cover a fixed amount of money, leaving patients to make up the difference.
It is not yet clear when the government approved price list will come back into effect. Schippers said earlier a change back could take six months.

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