The vast majority of hospitals are at risk of making a loss next year as a result of the increased costs of personnel and energy, among other things. According to the Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ), this applies to 90 percent of hospitals.

    The NVZ bases itself on research conducted by Finance Ideas among 56 hospitals. These are not all hospital organizations in the Netherlands, but according to a spokesman for the NVZ, the selection does receive about 90 percent of the health insurance budget for hospitals.

    NVZ chairman Ad Melkert speaks of ‘a disturbing conclusion’. “Hospitals now need all the resources to invest in the best care for the patient, good working conditions for healthcare professionals and the implementation of the recently concluded Integral Care Agreement.”

    ‘Choosing between energy costs and patient care’

    For example, the hospitals are still performing additional operations that were postponed during the corona crisis. On top of that, there will be investments in, for example, technology to enable remote care, as agreed in the Integral Care Agreement. “So then hospitals have to choose between patient care, investing in the care agreement or paying energy costs,” a spokesman for the NVZ summarizes.

    The hospitals want health insurers to spend all their reserves in contracting care for next year, in order to assist hospitals. But even if insurers do that, hospitals will still be short of money, according to the NVZ. That is why the association also asks the Ministry of Health to help, by directly compensating the energy costs. “Hospitals cannot spend all the money that goes to energy costs on patient care or development,” said the spokesperson.