Many want healthcare coverage limited for smokers, drinkers

Many want healthcare coverage limited for smokers, drinkers

A new survey from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) looks at popular attitudes towards who should pay for healthcare costs in a range of scenarios.

The study, which involved more than 3.000 respondents, forms part of a larger CBS inquiry into possible means of mitigating the rising cost of the Dutch healthcare system.

Smokers, drinkers should pay own bills

80 per cent of adults in the Netherlands believe young people should have to bear their own medical costs if they land in hospital due to excessive drinking.

Most also believe that smokers should have to pay, either partially or fully, out of their own pockets if they need help quitting smoking.

Though this opinion was held more often by non-smoking respondents, 77 per cent of occasional smokers and 67 per cent of daily smokers believe that individuals should at least help to pick up the cheque for counselling and quitting aides.

System should support psychological care

On the other hand, the researchers found that taxpayers are very willing to help support people suffering from emotional problems. Only 20 per cent of respondents feel that those with depression should have to pay personally for treatment.

And when it comes to grief after a personal loss, 75 per cent believe the state should support the whole cost of counselling and other aides.

Age, health factors in responses

Opinions were more or less divided on whether people should have to pay for their own dietary advice, IVF treatments, second opinions, walkers and whole-body scans.

Researchers noted that views varied somewhat with the age and health of the respondents.

People who listed their own health as "good" were more likely to suggest that paying for whole-body scans and second opinions should be the responsibility of individuals.

Surprisingly, however, younger people (18 to 25) were more likely than people over 65 to suggest full coverage for the cost of walkers.

Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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