Monday 20 September 2021

Doctors, hospitals call for major increase in spending on healthcare

Almost 20 healthcare organisations and unions have joined forces to call on the outgoing cabinet to increase spending on care when they present the government’s spending plans for 2022 later this month.

‘The quality of healthcare is coming under insupportable pressure and waiting lists are getting longer,’ the organisations say in a joint statement. ‘Some 17,000 people are waiting for an operation, people who wish to die at home cannot do so because of the shortage of home nurses, and fewer beds are available, rather than more.’

The public support for healthcare workers and hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic show that the time is right to make considerable investments, the organisations say. Signatories include the Dutch family doctors association, the national hospitals association and the FNV and CNV unions.

In particular, the organisations are calling for better pay for healthcare workers and for improved training opportunities.

‘The demand for care will only increase in the coming years. The number of people in their 80s and 90s will triple but the number of family carers is going down,’ the organisations say. ‘We cannot permit ourselves to continue along this path. We are in a permanent healthcare crisis.’

The caretaker government will present its 2022 spending plans on the third Tuesday in September. The budget is a holding one ahead of the appointment of a new coalition and outgoing ministers cannot introduce new policy initiatives.’

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