At least two specialist cancer treatment centres which use proton therapy are to be built in the Netherlands after all, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.
The centres will be in Delft and Groningen and will take their first patients in 2017. The centres are being built without having reached agreement with health insurance companies on payment for treatment, the Volkskrant says.
Health minister Edith Schippers gave four hospitals licences to develop proton therapy centres in 2013. They would have capacity to treat 2,200 patients a year.
But insurance companies are opposed to the development of four centres, saying one would be sufficient.
Last month, the head of Groningen University’s teaching hospital accused health insurance companies of acting as a cartel by delaying the developments.
Insurers, however, say they are worried that money is being wasted. ‘We are concerned that a lot of money is being put into facilities which we may question in 10 years’ time,’ Ben Crul, senior medical advisor at health insurance company Zilveren Kruis Achmea told the paper.
Britain, he pointed out, only has two proton treatment centres and medical developments may lead to the treatment being unnecessary in many cases.
Amsterdam and Maastricht are also pressing ahead with their proton centre plans, the Volkskrant says.
The hospitals do not expect the insurers to refuse to pay for treatment as they already pay for patients who go abroad for proton therapy, the paper points out.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation