Local councils still oppose care decentralisation plans

The cabinet’s decision to shift a large number of care duties from central to local government and health insurers is still opposed by a majority of city and town councils.

Just 35% of the 300 plus councils represented at Wednesday’s local authorities association meeting said they backed the plans.

The government is switching responsibility for long-term care services to councils and insurance companies because it wants to encourage people to remain longer in their own homes. It says councils are better placed to offer help to people so they can live independently.


The move is also coupled with a €1.5bn budget cut, which the councils themselves will have to deal with. One example of the likely impact, website nu.nl reports, is that spending on domestic help for the frail elderly will be slashed by 40%.

Councils are particularly angry that health minister Martin van Rijn plans to transfer personal care services to health insurance companies, saying this is a key part of home nursing provision.

Councils will take a definitive vote on the switch on January 17.

The government is also giving local authorities responsibility for youth social services and sheltered work schemes for the disabled.

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