Healthcare organizations surrender expensive bus, transport vulnerable people under pressure

More than twenty care organizations in Brabant have been struggling with the transport of vulnerable people since the bankruptcy of the charity MVI from Oosterhout. Saam Doet Het, which took over MVI, rents out vans for higher rates. Smaller healthcare organizations in particular cannot afford this and hand in their bus.

Profile photo of Malini Witlox

One of those foundations is Topsport for Life in Eindhoven. This organization organizes activities and group trips for people with life-threatening illnesses. “We paid 300 euros at MVI and that will be 1,500 euros under Saam,” says leader Miel in ‘t Zand of Topsport for Life. “As a small foundation, we cannot cough up that and so we will hand in the bus this month.”

“We will approach funds to see if they can help us.”

In ‘t Zand is still in Spain with 12 people. “We are here with people who have ALS or cancer, for example. They have a great time here and the bus is very much needed for that. This way we can transport four people with a wheelchair in the now rented bus.”

But as of February 1, Topsport for Life has to do without that bus. There is no concrete solution yet, says In ‘t Zand. He does have ideas. “We will approach funds to see if they can help us. And we want to set up crowdfunding. We have to, because we really want to continue with this.”

According to Lars van Engelen, Topsport for Life is not alone in this. He is director of Saam Doet het. He expects between 20 and 25 foundations to drop out of the 81 due to the rate increase.

“Unfortunately, we have no choice but to raise prices.”

“The somewhat larger and wealthier organizations can often still absorb the price increase. It is usually the small organizations that cannot afford the higher rents. Think of the Thomas houses,” says Van Engelen. These are small-scale residential facilities for people with an intellectual disability.

Van Engelen: “That is extremely harrowing. But unfortunately we can’t help but raise the prices. We are not going to rent ‘under water’. Otherwise, we will go ashore just like MVI.”

“The prices have tripled, we have handed in the bus.”

Patty Honcoop of the Sosijn Foundation in Dussen, which helps children with a disability, was also shocked by the new prices.

“They have tripled, that was not an option for us. We handed in the bus in the first week of January. But we had already set out some lines for alternatives and we found four companies in Dussen as sponsors. As a result, we have another second-hand can buy a bus, so the transport can continue.”

MVI was declared bankrupt by a court in November because the Tax and Customs Administration still owes the organization millions. The foundation was previously in the news because of a major fraud case. The Limburg company Saam Doet Het took over from MVI. Foundations that first rented vans via MVI were very happy about this. Until they heard about the rate increases.


Transport for thousands of vulnerable people will become up to five times more expensive

Transport saved for thousands of vulnerable people, MVI makes a new start

Founder MVI frauds for 1.5 million: raids in Made en Dongen