Bill for facemasks, gloves and breathing equipment tops €1.4bn


The Netherlands has already spent some €1.4bn on face masks, breathing equipment and other medical aids to help combat the coronaviris crisis, the Parool reported on Thursday.

In addition, the government has set aside €700m for vaccines and €300m to pay for testing up to September, according to health ministry figures.

However, both figures are preliminary and depend on whether the search for a vaccine is successful and if testing is increased again toward the end of the year, the paper said.

The figures come from a revised budget for healthcare spending this year, which has been sent to parliament for review. The 2020 budget for spending on healthcare was €88bn.

As yet is is unclear what impact Covid-19 will have on health insurance premiums next year. Some health insurance companies have suggested there will be a large increase, but health minister Hugo de Jonge has said he does not want to the cost passed on to consumers.

The government publishes its guidelines on how it expects health insurance premiums to evolve every year alongside the budget on the third Tuesday in September.

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