The Dutch healthcare system: One of the best in the world?
A recent report ranking high-income countries based on the quality of their healthcare services has put the Netherlands second, behind Norway.
The Commonwealth Fund healthcare report
A 2021 report published by the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation aimed at promoting high-quality healthcare for all, compared the performance of healthcare systems in 11 high-income countries across the globe, analysing each system against 71 performance measures across five categories:
- Access to care (timeliness, affordability, etc)
- Case process (preventative care, coordinated care, etc)
- Administrative efficiency (amount of paperwork, etc)
- Equity (income-related disparities)
- Healthcare outcomes
While the study concluded that no two systems were alike, there were certain features that distinguished the top-performing countries from other international healthcare systems; namely the accessibility and cost of (quality) healthcare.
The quality and cost of healthcare in the Netherlands
Time and time again, the Dutch healthcare system is found to be one of the best in the world - and this study is no different. While Norway takes the top spot, the Netherlands has achieved a very respectable second place, ranking above the likes of Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
The Netherlands performed above average in four out of the five categories, with the national healthcare’s administrative efficiency ranking letting the country down a little. It did take the top spot when it came to access to care, and also performed well in the care process category.
The Commonwealth Fund found that residents of the Netherlands were much less likely to report that their health insurance denied payment of a claim or paid less than expected, and were less likely to report issues with paying medical bills. The report also highlighted the Netherlands’ comparatively good mental healthcare provisions, and the accessibility of medical assistance.
Ranking healthcare in high-income countries
According to the report, the 11 high-income countries studied rank as follows:
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- United States
For more information about the study, visit the Commonwealth Fund website.