Cabinet poised to drop formal rights for nursing home residents

The cabinet is considering withdrawing draft legislation which would give nursing home residents the right to a daily wash and clean incontinence pads, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Junior health minister Martin van Rijn will make the recommendation during Friday’s cabinet meeting, sources have told the paper.

The aim of draft law, introduced by the previous cabinet at the behest of anti-immigration campaigner Geert Wilders’, would have been to give home residents more control over their care.

‘Like food and drink, taking care of daily hygiene needs is a part of ensuring physical well-being,’ the paper quotes the draft legislation as saying.

However, insiders say the bill’s contents ‘lose their value’ given the plans to radically shake up the residential care system. The government plans to reduce access to care homes to all but the very frail elderly by encouraging more people to stay at home.

Opposition MPs have slammed the decision and Wilders described the cabinet as ‘sick’.

The Volkskrant points out that the Council of State, the governmnet’s highest advisory body, condemned the legislation as unnecessary, saying basic rights are already enshrined in law.

Van Rijn said later on Thursday the claims that nursing home residents would not have the right to clean incontinence pads was ‘rubbish’. The draft legislation is being withdrawn but its contents will be incorporated into other laws on long-term healthcare,’ the minister is quoted as saying by Nos television.

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