“Focusing on prevention can make care more affordable.”

health26 Sep 23 6:19 pmModified on 26 Sep 23 at 22:05author: This pass

The new government should focus more on prevention, rather than on curative care. This is what Tegen Cole, professor of appropriate care at Radboud University in Nijmegen, says. According to him, it is logical that health insurance premiums threaten to rise significantly, given the also significant increase in wages. But this money can be used more efficiently. “There is still a lot of room for improvement on this.”

It seems inevitable that everyone will spend a larger portion of their income on health care. The average Dutch person should be able to afford it, Kohl says. But the question is whether we should pay for it. He says there is still a lot to be achieved in health care efficiency. “We never know if some care added value for patients. It’s important to know that.

“It’s better to do something about an unhealthy lifestyle than to take antacids.”

Tegen Cole, Radboud University

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In fact, some sponsorship clearly has no added value. It’s not just about actions that go nowhere, sometimes the treatments are downright harmful. That’s why it’s time to stop it. “Then of course you say: ‘Why don’t you just stop doing that tomorrow?’ But it’s more complicated than it sounds. Research has shown that a large proportion of people who take antacids don’t need to do it at all.

The new government should focus more on prevention, not curative care. This is what Tegen Cole, professor of appropriate care at Radboud University, says. According to him, it is logical that health insurance premiums threaten to rise significantly, given the significant increase in wages. But there is still a world to be gained from using health care dollars more efficiently. “There is still a lot of room for improvement in this regard.” Photography: ANP / Hollandse Hoog / Jeffrey Groeneweg (ANP/Jeffrey Groeneweg)

Health insurer DSW announces the largest premium increase of €11.50 since the introduction of the Health Insurance Act in 2006. DSW policyholders will pay a minimum of €149 per month. As costs rise and demand for care increases, other insurance companies will also have to follow suit. “We are heading into a deep valley,” Ad De Groot, chairman of DSW, warned on BNR this morning.

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Cole can’t help but agree wholeheartedly, he says. This is precisely why prevention is much more important than the consumption of almost unlimited therapeutic care. About a million packs of antacids are sold in the pharmacy every month, although they hardly help and can cause complications. And so Cole returns to the point of prevention. “It’s better to do something about an unhealthy lifestyle than to take antacids.”

Investing in the future

This unhealthy lifestyle can also lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. True, Cole admits that prevention also costs money, but then you’re investing in the future. “I don’t think we can avoid it. It’s a big challenge to get people to change their behavior. But it has to be done. That’s why we must take the time to realize that everything is no longer possible and everything is no longer wanted in health care.”

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Electoral programmes

That’s why Cole hopes the new government can translate the good intentions contained in the various election manifestos into policies. Outgoing Minister Ernst Kuipers believes that quality and efficiency in health care can be improved by largely replacing competition with cooperation. “This can ultimately ensure that care is delivered directly to the right place, rather than people going to the emergency room with nothing to do.”

Cole agrees that collaboration is very important, especially since Covid has proven its benefit once again. “The emergency room is absolutely crowded with all kinds of people who don’t really belong there. Frail elderly people in particular can be chosen at home in a completely different way. It’s very questionable whether they want to go to the emergency room or not, so it’s also very important to get the patient involved.” In choosing the care he consumes.

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Megan Vasquez

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