Ministers, unions and employers are still in talks to try to reach agreement on a major overhaul of home nursing care for the elderly and chronically sick, involving a €1bn spending cut.
Unions are angry the government plans to slash entitlement to home nursing and shift the burden of care to family and friends, leading to a 75% reduction in home nursing levels
They say the government’s original plans would lead to 65,000 home care workers losing their jobs.
Home nursing union Abvakabo has now said it will accept a lower pay rise in return for job security but ministers have rejected the offer.
Instead, junior health minister Martin van Rijn has said he will soften the cuts so that 30,000 jobs rather than 65,000 will go and more frail elderly will qualify for a place in a nursing home, sources told the Volkskrant.
The government is planning to slash €1bn from the bill for home helps and nursing over the coming years.
Van Rijn believes a bigger role for families would be a good way to keep care affordable. He says there should be agreement between family carers and the professional sector about ‘who can do what’. This would allow the elderly to get the help they need but at no extra cost.
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