Councils are using changes in the payment of care to milk the system, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.
The government’s decision to shift a large number of care services from central to local government means councils are setting the amount of the personal contribution themselves.
Until decentralisation, the long-term sick, frail elderly and handicapped were charged €10 as a contribution towards services such as being escorted to appointments and time at a day care centre.
These services are now the responsibility of councils and many of them have raised the contribution, the FD says. In some cases, the cost has risen to €60 or €70 an hour. In a few cases, the new price is higher than that paid to the health care provider by the council.
Health care providers are seeing existing clients stop using care services and new clients deciding to do without because the costs are too high, the FD says.
Decentralisation of care services has been coupled with a €1.5bn budget cut. However, councils do get a financial contribution from the government.
‘There are councils who collect the money twice,’ Jan Voortman, from the organisation for professionals in non-congenital brain damage, told the paper. ‘First from the government and a second time from the patients.’
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