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Access to care and health insurance

Good care can prevent, reduce or cure illnesses and diseases
Accessible and high-quality healthcare can prevent, reduce or cure illnesses and diseases. Good care can also improve the quality of life with a chronic disease. In comparison with other countries, healthcare in The Netherlands is (very) good (ECHI 2016, Lancet 2017). Medical advances and technology are creating more and more possibilities.

Healthcare has changed considerably
In recent years, a lot has changed in how care is organised. Care and support focus increasingly not just on recovery and care, but also on participation in society (VWS, 2014), and are located closer to home. The municipality has been given more tasks related to social support (Wmo) and care for young people. General practitioners and health centres provide more medical care that was previously available only in hospitals.

Lack of clarity about access to care and support
Various national reports (SCP 2015, RVS 2017, WRR 2017) describe an increasing concern in The Netherlands about health care, due to the many changes in recent years, among other things. More and more people, including those with higher levels of education, find the offer confusing or do not find what they need. Research by the National Ombudsman (2018)shows that citizens (still) experience problems in accessing care. These problems are big, far-reaching and urgent and can lead to people being excluded.

Various professionals and residents in Utrecht also voiced these concerns in the consultations They are particularly concerned about a lack of clarity around access to care and about avoiding care or support. Here they mention, among others: elderly, migrants, residents with psychiatric problems, residents with a (slight) intellectual disability, illiterate residents, computer illiterate residents and students.

In consultations, people from Utrecht list several possible causes for not receiving care or avoiding care. After all of the changes, it can be difficult to find your way in the new care and support system. This is especially complex if there is more than one care and support issue at the same time, as they are often regulated and funded by different laws. This feeling of not being able to get an overview can be made worse by the fact that more and more is being carried out digitally. There are many provisions, but sometimes it is (too) difficult to find them and get the best out of them. In addition, not every Utrecht resident is able to explain what their problem or (underlying) question is. Costs, for example in the form of deductible or contribution , make some people reluctant to make use of care. Other issues are mistrust, shame, concerns about privacy, being averse to meddling or the feeling of not being taken seriously.

From guidance consultations:

Basic health insurance and your deductible are mandatory
Health insurance reimburses the costs of diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and diseases. Basic healthcare insurance is a legal requirement in The Netherlands and covers a large part of health care costs, such as visits to a GP. For adults, maternity care, dental costs and often physiotherapy (depending on the problem) are not included in the basic health insurance package. When choosing a health insurance policy, there is always a compulsory deductible. In addition to the compulsory deductible, you can also opt for an additional voluntary deductible. The higher the voluntary deductible, the lower the health care contribution.

The health insurance reimburses the costs of care in the Netherlands

Read more about this subject by clicking on the categorie 'Adults'.