Thursday 28 October 2021

Cabinet agrees with health cuts

The cabinet on Friday agreed with proposals to cut a further €1bn from spending on health services from next year.


The plans, which leaked out earlier this week, include scrapping help to people who want to stop smoking and improve their diet.
Physiotherapy for chronic conditions will cost more and people with psychiatric problems will get five rather than eight treatment sessions, and pay higher fees. Medicine against stomach acid will no longer be covered and family doctors also face a €132m cut in their budgets.
Anti smoking organisations have already urged the government to reconsider its decision to remove help for people who want to stop smoking, saying it will be more expensive in the long run.
MPs vote
Parliament will have to decide whether or not to support the changes by July 1 to give health insurers enough time to incorporate the changes in next year’s policies and premiums.
Health minister Edith Schippers will announce further cuts to reduce the overspend in September, at the presentation of the national budget.
In the Netherlands, health insurance is provided by private companies but the government determines what should be included in the basic care package. Insurers can then offer extra treatment in top-up policies.

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