Two hospitals in Noord-Holland province have stopped carrying out cataract operations on patients insured with one of the country’s biggest health insurance companies because the budgets have been used up.
The hospitals, in Alkmaar and Den Helder, have spent the budget for such operations agreed with insurance firm CZ for this year, which means patients will have to wait until next year or go elsewhere.
A spokesman for the hospitals said only a few patients are involved although ‘it is extremely irritating for them’.
Health insurance group CZ said it had bought more cataract operations at independent treatment centres rather than hospitals because of the price-quality ratio. Patients who cannot be treated in the two hospitals will now be referred to the other clinics.
Patients will be confronted with similar situations more often in the future, the spokeswoman said. ‘If we have to pay for all care continually, the system will never work properly,’ she said. ‘We have bought in enough care, but with other providers. This is what is supposed to happen.’
There have been several other instances of health providers running out of budgets from particular health insurance companies, but usually this has been closer to the end of the year.
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