Nursing care rule changes lead to surge in ‘serious’ cases

A ‘drastic swing’ in the categorisation of patients with chronic conditions from ‘light’ to ‘severe’ is underway, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

The paper says experts are concerned that doctors are branding their patients as more serious cases so that they qualify for nursing home care.

Between 2009 and 2012, the number of people requiring ‘limited’ care fell sharply while requests for more encompassing services rose 50% to 118,000, the Volkskrant says.


The shift is particularly clear in 2012, when new rules shifting the burden of care to friends and families were drawn up.

The new rules require the frail elderly, disabled and people with chronic conditions to be put into one of five categories. Since January this year, people in the lowest categories are no longer entitled to live in a nursing home.

But that is set to be tightened further and soon only patients classed as stage 5 will qualify for subsidies to live in a nursing home. The government says family and friends should do more to help the elderly and disabled live in their own homes.

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