Monday 27 January 2020

Utrecht and Rotterdam to test for lead water pipes

Utrecht and Rotterdam to test for lead water pipes

Utrecht and Rotterdam councils have told the NOS broadcaster that they plan to test their buildings for lead pipes. Lead found in significant levels in drinking water is poisonous, and has particularly harmful effects on young children, according to the World Health Organization. Earlier this week, Amsterdam city council confirmed that four daycare centres and nine other locations including the Theo Thijssenschool have too high a percentage of lead in their drinking water – despite a ban on lead water... More >

Depressiegala 'failed to meet objectives'

A charity gala evening set up to raise awareness of depression failed to achieve its stated aims and spent most of its public funding on management costs, evening news show Nieuwsuur has established. The Mental Health Foundation received €350,000 from the public health ministry in 2017 to organise the Depressiegala, distribute information packs to 500 schools and set up a ‘buddy system’ for vulnerable teenagers. The gala evening went ahead and was broadcast on television, raising €50,000 in ticket sales... More >

Water purification may spread Legionnaires

Some 80 out of 776 Dutch water purification plants risk spreading Legionnaires disease and must take preventative measures, health and safety watchdog RIVM has warned. The advice is based on two earlier reports on the possibility that the plants, which purify waste water from industry and sewers, are the source of the legionella bacteria. In 2018, some 600 people in the Netherlands caught the disease which manifests itself as pneumonia and can be deadly for the elderly and people in... More >

Care sector unable to hold on to staff

Government efforts to combat the staffing crisis in the care sector are inadequate because of a lack of career perspectives and insufficient work challenges, an independent commission has found. The care sector remains a ‘colander’ leaking staff, the commission warned. Almost half the people signing up for a job in care leave within two years. A lack of prospects and unchallenging work are the most cited causes, with low salaries only coming in at seventh place. Last year 110,000 people... More >

1.1 million people switch health insurer

Some 1.1 million people in the Netherlands switched health insurance company during the November and December window, according to Dutch health insurance association figures. This means 6.2% of consumers made the switch, compared with 7% in the previous year. The figures are still preliminary. Insurance premiums only went up marginally this year, but according to insurance comparison website Zorgwijzer, there was still a €492 gap between the most expensive and the cheapest policy. More >

1% fewer smokers would save €650m

If just one percentage point of smokers were to give up the habit, healthcare costs in the Netherlands would go down by some €650m on an annual basis, Dutch research into the effects of smoking, drinking and exercise have found. The researchers focused on neighbourhoods composed of different socio-economic groups and translated the effects in terms of costs to the healthcare system. ‘If you have a neighbourhood where 40% of people smoke and compare it to one where 39% smoke... More >

Nursing home bed shortages loom, over 100,000 needed by 2040

The Netherlands is going to need twice as many nursing home beds as it currently has by 2040, according to a new report by the TNO research institute. The institute expects some 261,000 beds will be required in 20 years time, almost double the current total, and that a further 41,000 places will also require updating by then. The number of people over the age of 80 soaring and experts have already warned the government is not doing enough to... More >