Heart attack victim saved by defibrillator but who should pay the bill?

Borssele village council in Zeeland and a health insurance company are embroiled in a dispute about who should pay for renewing the electrodes on a heart defibrillator.

The council has been sent a €150 bill to replace the electrodes after the apparatus was used to save the life of man who had a heart attack.

The village says the man’s insurance company should pay, but the insurer refuses because the use of a defibrillator is not covered in the basic insurance package. The electrodes have to be replaced each time the machine is used.

The council has since raised the money using a sponsorship campaign but says the situation is a scandal, according to local paper PZC.

The Dutch heart foundation says the problem with payment for new electrodes is a common situation and wants the health ministry to include defibrillators in the basic health package.

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