Healthcare must be organized differently, says Minister Ernst Kuipers (Public Health) in response to the cry for help from CZ CEO Joep de Groot. He warned that the limit has been reached for insurers and that basic care can no longer be guaranteed in the future. According to De Groot, waiting lists are a particular problem.

    Kuipers sees that the pressure is increasing in the entire healthcare field. “We are running into limits in all sorts of places.” Access to care is a particular problem, partly due to long waiting lists. De Groot also addressed this problem The Telegraph. “I cannot guarantee that healthcare is always accessible to everyone. In fact, I think I can almost guarantee it isn’t.”

    According to Kuipers, measures from the recently concluded Integrated Care Agreement (IZA) contribute to reducing waiting times. For example, there must be more regional coordination, so that patients for whom there is no place in one hospital can go elsewhere. More attention should also be paid to appropriate care. “Less focus on illness and treatment and more focus on health and what someone can do,” said the Dutch Healthcare Authority in an earlier advisory report.

    Make an appointment yourself

    In the care agreement, agreements have been made about cooperation and strengthening primary care: care for which people can make an appointment themselves without a referral (such as with general practitioners and dentists, physiotherapists and district nurses). The IZA has not yet been signed by the general practitioners. They want, among other things, concrete agreements on rates for emergency care in the evenings, nights and weekends and have no confidence that agreements will be complied with.

    If no action is taken, Kuipers fears a ‘care stroke’. In that case, patients will not receive the care they need, for example due to staff shortages.

    With 3.7 million policyholders, CZ is the third largest health insurer in the Netherlands.