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The health care system and reform in the Netherlands

Busse R, van Ginneken E, Schreyögg J, Wisbaum W
EuroObserver 7(1): 6-8




The Dutch health care system is not only complex to describe, but is also constantly undergoing debate and discussion on the possible integration or separation of its different parts. Three different sets of insurance, governed by different bodies, exist: (1) a national health insurance for ‘exceptional medical expenses’; (2) compulsory sickness funds for persons under a certain income and private, mostly voluntary health insurance; and (3) voluntary supplementary health insurance. The second set, separated into compulsory insurance for those under a certain income and a rather large segment for private insurance, has noticeable repercussions on the funding side with regard to equity, and has been the impetus for various reform initiatives over the last 15 years that are still being debated.

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