“Take care”

Live as healthy as possible when you are young. If you need care, try arranging it digitally. Once older, rely especially on informal caregivers. A professional health care provider? You see them as little as possible.

Chairman Dirk Jan van den Berg of the trade association Zorgverzekeraars Nederland does not want to call this picture ideal, but it is clear to him that radical change is needed in healthcare. “Not all care can be provided by professionals. We need to move towards a situation where people take more responsibility for themselves.”

The dual process of aging – more and more older people are also getting older – is rapidly approaching. There are more elderly people who need care, but fewer workers who can provide that care. One in seven workers currently work in health care, and by 2060 this number is expected to rise to one in three. “It is unfeasible and unsustainable,” says van den Berg. “Under the Long-Term Care Law, you, as an elderly person, are always entitled to nursing care, but this will not be possible soon because these people simply do not exist. Very disappointing, but you cannot break iron with your hands.” This week, the formed parties PVV speak out , VVD, NSC, and BBB on finance, and health care is a big part of this: The VWS's budget is the largest of all the departments, at more than $100 billion. Van den Berg hopes the issue of an aging population will be on the table there. “This It deserves a prominent place. “The problem doesn't end by not talking about it.”

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I wrote to informants this week that in the Netherlands “more than in other European countries, elderly care is left to overburdened healthcare professionals.”

“The Dutch are really afraid of informal care. Not because of a lack of parental love, but because they wonder: How will this fit into my life? In other countries, this is more integrated. At some point you will take care of your parents there, or you will have them at home. We “We need to talk about that too. It's no longer about the government or the health insurance companies, just sort this out. It's an uncomfortable message, but it's not wise to bury our heads in the sand.”

Van den Berg says ensuring people can continue to live healthy at home for longer also helps: “Prevention is important. I'm not a quiet monk, but try to support yourself a little. Eat healthy. Move. Smoking a lot is not wise.”

He believes that municipalities should receive more funds for prevention and implementation of social welfare tasks. “Talk to any GP, and you'll hear that maybe 50% of people are talking about their finances, their kids, their relationships. Or they have complaints because they live in a house with mold. These are not healthcare questions. If these people were getting help elsewhere, This will reduce the burden on the GP. The digitization of healthcare can also contribute. Doctors can then work more efficiently and talk to more people, says van den Berg.

What is it all about: Do we need to do more ourselves?

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“You also have your own responsibility. Only in this way can we contribute together to sustainable and supportive care. Otherwise, for example, you will get more private equity parties arranging health care for people who have enough money. This is not the way to go.” We will walk it.”

The political climate looks different. Many parties already want to spend more money on health care. Not only the founding parties PVV and BBB, but also leftist parties.

“There are parties that say: We are a civilized country, so it may cost something. But money alone will not solve the problem of staff shortages. More money also means a higher health insurance premium. There are many people for whom getting an extra ten euros a month is a problem. VWS's budget is now more than $100 billion. This is not easy. Can we also look at: Are we doing it right? Are we doing it smart? Trees do not grow to the sky.”

In the House of Representatives, a lot of attention is paid to specific matters such as the deductible amount. Is this discussion of aging being done enough?

“Too little, and that's a shame. If you have a problem, you need to talk about it. We still have enough time to get things done right, so make use of this time.”

Why doesn't that happen?

“It's not a pretty cake that you're going to give your supporters. The long term and politics don't often go together well, even though it's an inspiring topic. I think a fair number of people getting older are interested in what their living arrangements will look like for the elderly.”

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Health insurance companies have a duty of care. Don't you just throw your problem over the fence?

“The duty of care still exists, but the answer is not automatically: more care. There are limits to that. The duty of care has to be broader; municipalities, social care organisations. But also: what can people contribute of themselves?”

NZa recently concluded that insurers are not doing enough to maintain a balance between the provision of care and the need for care.

“That's all about waiting lists. But insurance companies have no idea about this. They don't know what waiting list insured people are on. Insured people should actively participate in the health care system, not just wait quietly. Contact Your health insurance company if you encounter a waiting list. They can often help at another location further away, where the wait list is shorter or you may be helped right away.

Read also
Who will take care of the elderly? “The professional makes the bed, the caregiver does the vacuuming and laundry.”

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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