RVS calls for major reform to Dutch healthcare system

RVS calls for major reform to Dutch healthcare system

The Council for Health and Society (RVS) has called for drastic reforms to the Dutch healthcare system, arguing for policy changes that would allow for dental care to be included in basic health insurance packages and would result in health insurance rates being more dependent on income.

RVS worried about future of healthcare in the Netherlands

While in the past some international rankings have highlighted the Dutch healthcare system as being one of the best in the world, the RVS feels there is significant room for improvement, the AD reports. According to the paper, the RVS argues that the “current system is causing healthcare to come to a standstill.”

In an advisory report presented by the RVS on Tuesday, the council advocates for three key changes to the current policies and rates for health insurance in the Netherlands, calling on the Dutch government to carry out “major maintenance” on national healthcare.

While the RVS emphasises that “there are many good intentions and great initiatives” in the Dutch healthcare system, the report does argue that change is necessary: “If nothing happens... certain care and support will only be available in the future to people who can purchase this privately.”

Council wants health insurance rates to be income-based

As the AD reports, the RVS’ main goal is ensuring healthcare remains accessible to all across the country. With this in mind, the report encourages the government to revise health insurance policies, so that monthly premiums and healthcare deductibles (eigen risico) are instead calculated according to a person’s income. This, in turn, would largely render the current healthcare allowance redundant. 

The report points out that many avoid getting the treatment they need, simply because they are unable to cover the costs - which can be high, especially if an individual opts for a high deductible plan. The RVS hopes that making rates income-based - and capping deductibles for those with chronic illnesses - can reduce cases of healthcare avoidance. 

In addition to these proposed amendments, the RVS would also like to see dental care included in basic health insurance packages, which they say should not only save money in the long run, but will also remove any ambiguity or confusion people may have.

“Oral care for children is still included in the package, but people just don't believe it and are afraid of a bill after all,” RVS chair Jet Bussemaker told the AD. “The result is that many generations of children now grow up with bad teeth, and you can never rectify that later in life.”

Thumb: Oleksandra Kharkova via

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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