The Dutch healthcare institute Zorginstituut Nederland is reviewing the treatment currently covered in the basic healthcare insurance package to weed out those which have not been proven to work.
ZN chairman Sjaak Wijma told the AD in an interview on Monday that around half the treatments currently covered by basic insurance are not supported by science.
‘This is why it is important that we research this, and determine what works and what does not,’ he said.
One example, Wijma said, are the sleep centres set up in many hospitals to help people with sleeping difficulties. ‘A lot of people and resources are spent on this, but the scientific evidence could be limited,’ Wijma said.
Wijma said he recognised that cutting treatments from the basic healthcare package is controversial, but ‘it is necessary to ensure that we can keep our great health service,’ he said.
‘We are spending €6,000 per person on healthcare and if we don’t do something, half of our tax income will be spent on care,’ he said. ‘That is a no-go area.’
Last year the institute recommended that asthma patients should no longer be able to claim the cost of high altitude treatment in the Swiss resort of Davos because it had no added value.
The government determines the make-up of the basic healthcare insurance policy and insurers are free to compete on price, top up premiums and other issues such as choice of hospital.
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